The first COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer are now being rolled out across the Tri-State. Some states and regions have different rules about who's eligible and how to sign up. Here's what you need to know:
Who's eligible for a vaccine, and when?
Each state has its own plan and identification for who qualifies in certain COVID-19 vaccine phases.
- Phase 1A: Ohio is currently working to vaccinate high-risk health care workers and first responders.
- 1B: Older adults living in congregate or overcrowded settings and people at a significantly higher risk to COVID-19 because of comorbidities or underlying conditions. Some Ohio counties are providing vaccinations to those in 1B, so it's important to check your specific region.
- 2: Critical risk workers, like healthcare and public health operations and human services operations, as well as those at high risk of exposure. Also included in Phase 2: Teachers and school staff; people of all ages with comorbid and underlying conditions; all older adults not included in Phase 1; people in homeless shelters; people in group homes for individuals with physical or mental disabilities or in recovery; people and staff in prisons, jails, detention centers.
- 3: Young adults, children and all workers in industries and occupations important to the functioning of society and at increased risk of exposure who were not included in phases 1 and 2.
- 4: All Ohioans who did not have access to the vaccine in previous phases.
- Phase 1A: All patient-facing health care personnel. Any physician seeing patients in any field from surgeons to dermatologists to licensed social workers and everything in between currently qualify. Long-term care facility residents in both independent and assisted-living facilities, group homes and nursing homes, first responders and corrections workers are in Phase1A.
- 1B: People aged 80 or older qualified as of Jan. 6.
- Eligibility dates are yet to be determined for ages 70-79, 60-69 and all others.
- Phase 1A: Kentucky is currently vaccinating residents and staff in long-term care facilities, as well as frontline health care personnel.
- 1B: Anyone age 70 or older, first responders and K-12 school personnel. Officials aim to complete first doses of vaccines to K-12 personnel through school districts by the end of the week of Feb. 1. In Northern Kentucky, people age 70 and older can now schedule a vaccine appointment through St. Elizabeth, HealthPoint and NKY Health.
- 1C: All essential workers, anyone age 60 or older, and anyone age 16 or older with CDC highest risk COVID-19 risk conditions. A list of those conditions can be found here.
- 2: Anyone age 40 or older.
- 3: Anyone age 16 or older.
- 4: Children under 16 will be eligible for a vaccine in Phase 4, provided the FDA approves a vaccine for children.
Because Kentucky vaccination sites will be instructed to use 90% of vaccine doses they receive within seven days, sites will be encouraged to give vaccines to people in a lower tier if that site has no remaining vaccination appointments for upper tier individuals.
On Jan. 14, Kentucky announced a partnership with Kroger to run drive-thru vaccination sites at to-be-determined locations across the state. More details, including how to sign up for vaccinations online or by phone, are expected on Jan. 28.
Where do I go to sign up for a vaccine?
Some regions have online sign-up pages, and some do not. Some require a survey to gauge how great the demand is for the vaccine in given areas, and some regions are taking applications and appointments now.
Here's some guidance for the Tri-State region and, if possible, where to sign up for your vaccine:
- Hamilton County Health Department has a link to register on their website. The county will contact those who are eligible based on your information.
- Cincinnati Health Department has a form to register for an appointment, but only for those in the appropriate phase of the vaccine roll-out. Anyone can add information to this form at any time, but the health department has suggested people wait until their phase has opened.
- Clermont County is currently focusing on those in Ohio's Phase 1B category: older adults living in congregate or overcrowded settings and those at higher risk to the virus because of underlying conditions. They don't have a registration page set up yet but told WCPO it should be coming soon.
- Butler County has a survey people can fill out, but the survey is not a way to schedule a shot. It's merely a tool to evaluate need in the area. They're currently serving those in Phases 1A and 1B. Click here to view requirements and sign up information for Butler County.
- Warren County is currently only registering agencies and organizations, no individuals. To register for a vaccine in Warren County, you'll likely need to go through your employer to register.
- The Northern Kentucky Health Department, in partnership with St. Elizabeth Healthcare and HealthPoint Family Care, is now offering appointments for people in Phase 1B, including people 70 and older, first responders and K-12 school personnel. People over 70 can sign up for a vaccine here, but K-12 personnel will make their St. E appointments through their school district.
- In Indiana, the state is coordinating the entire vaccination roll-out, so those who qualify can visit the state's page to find a vaccination site in their specific location and register from there.
Are more vaccines coming?
Right now, the FDA has given emergency use authorization only to Pfizer's and Moderna's coronavirus vaccines for people 16 and older. AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson are currently in trials for their own COVID-19 vaccines, and it's estimated that both could be authorized for emergency use by early February.