The COVID-19 vaccine roll-out has been a bit messy and a bit confusing for many in the Tri-State region. As vaccinations continue, many have wondered when they'll be eligible and, if they already are, where they can sign up to be considered.
The Cincinnati Health Department is still receiving additional doses of the Moderna vaccine, but there remain health care professionals and first responders waiting to receive those doses.
So when can others in the community hope to get one?
"Calls, emails, everyone wants to know," said Virginia Scott, director of nursing at the Cincinnati Health Department. "It's a good problem to have. Everyone wants it."
Scott said the department has been inundated with people asking when they can sign up.
The tricky thing is knowing whether you qualify for a vaccine now and, if so, where to sign up to be added to the list.
If you're in the City of Cincinnati and you fall into Phase1A, you can sign up for an appointment online now. It gets a little bit less clear if you're outside the city.
So what are the phases and who do they cover?
The reason this question is tricky -- specifically in the Greater Cincinnati region -- is because each state has its own plan and identification for who qualifies in certain phases.
In Ohio, Phase 1A only applies to high-risk health care workers and first responders. This is the phase the state is still in currently. Older adults living in congregate or overcrowded settings and people at a significantly higher risk to COVID-19 because of comorbidities or underlying conditions are next up, in Phase 1B. Some counties in Ohio are providing vaccinations to those in 1B, so it's important to check your specific region.
According to Scott, DeWine has advised that the region could officially open to those aged 65 and older on Jan. 18.
In Indiana, Phase 1A covers patient-facing health care personnel in totality. Any physician seeing patients in any field from surgeons to dermatologists to licensed social workers and everything in between currently qualify. Also covered are long-term care facility residents in both independent and assisted-living facilities, group homes and nursing homes. First responders are in Phase1A, as well, including those in the Department of Correction.
Indiana also began allowing the first group of Phase 1B vaccinations: Any Hoosier aged 80 or older qualified as of Jan. 6.
In Kentucky, the state is still in Phase 1A, which serves long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities and health care personnel. Once the Commonwealth enters Phase 1B, which could come next month, anyone aged 70 or older, first responders and K-12 school personnel will become eligible.
I'm eligible, so where do I go to sign up for a vaccine?
This is where it gets a little tricky. 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.
In the Tri-State region, here is some guidance on where to check for information in your area, and, if possible, where to sign up for your vaccine: (All information current as of Jan. 12.)
- The county has a survey, but it's not 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.
- People in phase 1B — anyone over 65 and people with severe, congenital, developmental or early-onset medical disorders — can fill out this online form to get on the waiting list. (People who are 80 and older will have priority.)
- Anyone can register to receive the vaccine, and county officials 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.
- The 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.
Only health care workers and people living in long-term care facilities/assisted living facilities are being vaccinated at this point. Health care workers can click here to register.
- St Elizabeth Training & Education Center, 3861 Olympic Blvd, Erlanger, Ky.
The Northern Kentucky Health Department did not return WCPO's request for clarification on where vaccination sites might be located in the area, and it's unclear whether there is link to a survey or registration page at this time.
Health care workers who have face-to-face contact with patients, first responders and people over 80 years old can click here to register. (Use this link to register regardless of the county you live in.)
- Vaccine clinic: Dearborn County Local Health Department, 51 Walnut St., Lawrenceburg, Ind.
- Vaccine clinic: Franklin County Local Health Department, 1010 Franklin Ave., Ste. 210, Brookville, Ind.
- Vaccine clinic: Rising Sun Church of Christ, 430 Fifth St., Rising Sun, Ind.
- Vaccine clinics: Margaret Mary Health - Tyson Activity Center, 100 N High St, Versailles, Ind.
- Margaret Mary Health Batesville Fire Department (Drive-thru), 115 E Catherine St, Batesville, Ind.
- Ripley County Local Health Department, 425 W Cravens St., Osgood, Ind.
- Vaccine clinic: Technology and Education Center, 708 W Seminary St., Vevay, Ind.
- Vaccine clinic: Union County Local Health Department, 6 West South Street, Liberty, Ind.