Answering your COVID questions: 'Are vaccine sites scheduling appointments based on health conditions?'

Posted at 7:23 PM, Mar 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-01 19:55:38-05

Gov. Mike DeWine announced Monday that vaccine category 1C will open on Thursday to pregnant women, people with type one diabetes or folks who've had bone marrow transplants, among others.

But that's far from all conditions. For people in those groups still waiting, I asked Hamilton County Public Health medical director Dr. Steve Feagins: “Is there a place that might give someone consideration on their urgency or need for a vaccine because of a health condition?”

Feagins said the answer is no.

“Every vaccine provider -- all 800 of us in Ohio -- are under the exact same regulations in who we give the vaccine to," he said. "You've seen examples in other states where folks have gone outside it, and there are repercussions for that. We are all under the same guidelines.”

If you know of a nearby clinic giving vaccine where people routinely don't show up for their appointment, Feagins said, it couldn’t hurt to call and get on their wait list. But be advised: there aren’t many no-shows in Hamilton County, which has fewer than 10 leftover doses at the end of the day. Plus, many waitlists are already comprised of local police department staff.

“But it never hurts to call and inquire: ‘If you can't find anybody and you're about to throw that vaccine away, put it in my arm!’”

And, as Feagins has advised before, you have to be persistent and patient at the same time.

WCPO 9 is taking your questions about COVID-19 vaccines and posing them to local health care experts. Email or message @KristynHartmanWCPO on Facebook with your name, neighborhood and question, and you could see an expert answer it on air.