SPRINGDALE, Ohio — The scarcity in supply of COVID-19 vaccines has been an issue plaguing Ohioans since the beginning of the rollout. Now, the City of Springdale's supply is so low, it's stopped scheduling appointments, instead putting more than 1,000 eligible people onto a wait list.
"I think we're all facing the issue of vaccine scarcity," said Matt Clayton, commissioner of health for the City of Springdale. "We're all interested in when the vaccine will become readily available and we're all trying to encourage the public to be patient."
The city sent residents a letter this week explaining that the local health department can't set up any more appointments. It will instead add those who are eligible under phase 1B to a wait list and focus on vaccinating as many people as it can based on age.
"Prioritizing those Ohioans who are older," said Clayton. "Trying to get them in, get them vaccinated to reduce the risk for the most vulnerable population."
The Springdale Health Department has put more than 1,000 eligible people on that wait list, but the city only receives around 100 doses of the vaccine per week.
"That will change," said Clayton. "We know that the vaccine issue is temporary and we look forward to a plentiful supply in the coming weeks or months."
He said the bigger issue will soon be whether or not people agree to get the vaccine, with public education and awareness becoming key when shots are more readily available.
"That is to say, making sure the public knows this vaccine is safe, it is effective and they should get this vaccine when it's available to them," said Clayton.
The City of Springdale is set up to be able to vaccinate 400 to 500 people each day in clinics at the community center, but that's contingent on if and when the federal vaccine supply allows.