Local primary care physicians unaffiliated with hospitals wonder when they'll get the vaccine

coronavirus vaccine filephoto
Posted at 10:18 PM, Jan 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-08 12:19:34-05

CINCINNATI — With COVID-19 numbers rising by the day – the Ohio Department of Health reported 10,251 new cases Thursday – getting healthcare workers vaccinated has taken top priority, but some doctors said there is a gap in the system that leaves them out.

Dr. Geoffrey Rose said he recognizes the need to vaccinate those dealing directly with coronavirus patients in hospitals but said the state needs a better system in place to make sure primary care physicians in Ohio get their doses.

“We want to be part of the solution,” Rose said.

He said his patients trust him to keep them healthy and right now a key part of that is getting vaccinated.

“I have a really good staff, but it’s just the three of us,” Rose said. “If one of us gets really sick it’s going to be a big problem, but I’m actually more afraid if one of us contracts the virus and we don’t know what that would lead to.”

He said some hospital employees, many of whom do not deal directly with patients, are getting vaccinated.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine acknowledged there’s not enough vaccine for all healthcare workers right now.

“If they’re not part of any hospital system, they should go to that local health department and we have tasked the local health departments to do a lot of things and to cover that group is one of them,” he said Thursday.

Rose said he called the Cincinnati Health Department on Dec. 28. He was told he was placed on a wait list Wednesday.

“I have a little more time than other doctors who are really swamped in the hospitals,” he said. “I can step up and help fill in those gaps if somebody needs my help.”

The Cincinnati Health Department is working to get answers for Rose and other unaffiliated doctors across the city like him who are eager to get the vaccine.