CINCINNATI — Now that all Ohio adults are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine and about 31% have gotten their first poke, local health officials are launching “Get Out the Vax,” a campaign meant to connect Hamilton County residents with appointments en masse.
"We've been through this phase of constrained supply, where we've had much more demand than we have had supply,” said Health Collaborative vaccine coordinator Kate Schroder on Tuesday. “We are entering a new phase, where supply is going to be greater than demand."
The campaign includes mass-vaccination events and free public transportation to vaccine sites through Cincinnati Metro.
Schroder said another crucial element is reaching out to people who are nervous about the vaccine.
Between 65-95% of people in the region must be vaccinated for the population to achieve herd immunity, a situation in which the novel coronavirus cannot spread because there are not enough vulnerable hosts to transmit it.
For health workers, getting there means making a strong pitch to patients who have been exposed to vaccine misinformation or who feel apprehensive about the shot for personal reasons.
The goal is to have 80% of locals vaccinated by July 4, starting with 20,000 Cincinnati-area appointments over the weekend.
"The goal of vaccinating 80% of our community is ambitious,” said Dr. Rick Lofgren, president and CEO of UC Health. “It's aspirational, but it's absolutely achievable."