COMMERCIAL POINT — Pickaway County Public Health has received the first 100 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and the doses have been administered to EMS personnel starting this week.

Scioto Township Fire Chief Neil Cline, 48, was the first person to receive the Moderna Vaccine administered in Pickaway County by Pickaway County Public Health.

Cline said he volunteered to be the first one to set an example for his fellow first responders and the community and that he believes in the science.

The Ohio COVID-19 Vaccination Program Phase 1A distribution plan calls for EMS personnel to be vaccinated first, followed by individuals with developmental disabilities and those with mental health disorders who live in group homes and residential facilities as well as their caregivers.

“The state has identified as those who live in group homes and other congregate settings as a priority,” Adam Negley, Pickaway County Health Commissioner, said. “We’ve been in contact with the Pickaway County Board of Developmental Disabilities to identify those providers and residents and we’ll be targeting them for a vaccine early on.”

Negley said they’ll work their way down the list of frontline healthcare providers who can’t get the vaccine through their work or another healthcare provider.

Negley said their initial trial with the first 100 vaccines was a test run for when they distribute on a larger number of groups or people in the future.

“We’re seeing how long it takes to do the paperwork and administer the vaccine,” he said. “Certainly the scale of it is going to get much bigger as time goes on and we’ll need the bigger facilities to accommodate folks.”

Negley said they’ve received support from their community partners like the Pickaway County Commissioners and the Pickaway County Emergency Management Agency.

“Everyone seems to be behind this effort and we want to encourage everyone who wants a shot to get one as soon as it’s available to them,” he said.

PCPH has also been designated to provide vaccines to home health workers, hospice workers, primary care practitioners, free standing health care facilities like urgent cares and pharmacies, dental providers, mobile unit practitioners, federally-qualified health care providers and high-risk ancillary health care staff members

Pickaway County Public Health is asking anyone who is a part of that group to contact them online at this link https://bit.ly/3riTG8F to complete the pre-registration form.

“Indicating your interest in being vaccinated will greatly assist PCPH in planning for the efficient use of limited vaccine doses,” Baylie Karmie, public information officer said.

“As the vaccination effort continues to unfold, PCPH will keep the public updated on their Facebook page and through the media as to when additional groups become eligible to be vaccinated. The Ohio Department of Health is currently working on Phase 1b of the vaccination plan and PCPH will follow that guidance once it is released. Please remember that all available vaccines will be administered only to those who choose to receive it.”

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