CINCINNATI — Officials hope a new website will serve as a one-stop shop for information about eligibility and signing up to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Cincinnati and Hamilton County residents can visit www.testandprotectcincy.com for information on who is eligible to receive the vaccine and to see a list of providers who offer the vaccine. People who are not yet eligible to get a shot can enter their information to receive updates.
People in the region who do not have access to the internet can call 2-1-1 for help navigating all of the providers in the area. Cincinnati residents can call 513-357-7462 starting Tuesday. Officials emphasized that people who have the ability to sign up online should refrain from calling the hotlines so the lines don’t get overwhelmed.
Mayor John Cranley, Hamilton County Commissioner Denise Driehaus and health officials announced the roll out of the website and hotlines on Friday afternoon.
Starting Monday, Ohioans 80 and older are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. This comes as COVID-19 is the worst it has ever been in Hamilton County. As of Friday, Hamilton County Commissioner Denise Driehaus said 1 in 14 Hamilton County residents have contracted the virus.
Driehaus said the collaboration with city officials to vaccinate people is vital because Hamilton County only receives 8,000 doses a week. Of those, 7,000 go to hospital systems and 500 go to Hamilton County Public Health. Each Kroger with a Little Clinic gets 100 doses a week.
“The vaccine is scarce right now ... that said we need to make it as easy as possible for people to sign up,” Driehaus said.
Mayor John Cranley said this type of infrastructure should have been created by the federal and state government months ago, and he said it was a “disastrous decision” for President Donald Trump’s administration not to order more vaccines.
“We don’t want to give you the false impression that you can get vaccinated next week, because we don’t have enough vaccine,” Cranley said.
But Cranley said he hopes the website and hotline will allow people in the region to get in line when the vaccine is available to them.
Additionally, Kroger stores in Hamilton County that have Little Clinics will provide vaccinations. Starting Saturday, people can call 866-211-5320 for more information.