COVID-19 vaccination options opened up to homebound individuals
Logan County District Board of Health members were informed at their Wednesday afternoon meeting that the Ohio Department of Health’s recommended pause on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine based on Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control findings is not affecting upcoming clinics offered by the agency.
Nursing Director Kelly Reaver said the health district utilized its supply of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine during a clinic March 11, when approximately 200 people received that vaccine. She related that the agency has not received any additional Johnson & Johnson vaccines since that time, and upcoming clinics will utilize the two-dose Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.
As of Monday, more than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered in the U.S. The CDC and FDA are reviewing data involving six women between the ages of 18 and 48 nationwide reported a rare type of blood clot after receiving that specific vaccine.
Logan County Health Commissioner Dr. Boyd Hoddinott said this situation is unfortunate when it comes at such a crucial time for additional residents to continue receiving their COVID-19 vaccines, now especially for younger individuals as well.
“The COVID-19 variants out there are starting to affect younger people, too, and it is very helpful if people have received the vaccine,” he said. “We are encouraging students ages 16 and older to receive the Pfizer vaccine, and individuals 12 and older might also be approved for the Pfizer vaccine soon.
“The six cases of blood clots out of more than 6 million people that have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine makes for an extremely rare side effect, and could be related to other factors that still need to be determined.”
To boost COVID-19 vaccination efforts, Reaver reported that the health district now has two additional nurses available from the state who are assisting with vaccination duties, including conducting off-site clinics.
The nurses are working to reach under-served populations, including individuals who are homebound and have not been able to travel to previous clinics hosted by the agency. Language barriers also are being addressed.
“We can offer vaccines in people’s homes, or for those with mobility issues, we can provide the vaccine out in our parking lot while they stay in their cars,” the nursing director said. “One of the nurses speaks Spanish as well.”
Businesses also can request assistance with vaccination efforts on site. To inquire about these special vaccination efforts, call (937) 651-6244 and leave a voicemail if prompted.
The health district also conducted a drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination clinic April 6 at the Logan County Fairgrounds, where approximately 800 people were served, Reaver said.
A number of volunteers assisted with that effort, similar to the first drive-thru clinic hosted at the fairgrounds during March.
To date, the health district has administered more than 7,000 doses of the Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines since efforts began the last week of December. Clinics are offered by the agency two to three days a week, and Saturday clinics have been available once a month as well.
Appointments for the COVID-19 vaccination at local providers, including the Logan County Health District, can be scheduled via the Ohio Department of Health’s website, gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov.
In addition, the health district reports significant decreases in local COVID-19 cases in the county during the last month, totaling 112 confirmed and probable cases from March 15 to April 13. Most daily case counts are in the single digits for Logan County, Reaver said.
The next meeting is 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 12.