UH prepares to begin vaccinating some Ohio seniors next week

UH prepares to begin vaccinating some Ohio’s seniors next week

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - On Tuesday, Governor Mike DeWine announced more details about the next phase of Ohio’s vaccination plan.

On January 19th, people 80 and over will be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Ohio.

It’s the moment 83-year-old Mary Deutschman has been waiting for.

“The sooner, the better; I’m a little tired of staying at home all day and not doing a whole lot,” Deutschman said. “I mean, I know that it’s not gonna make me stop wearing my mask or anything, but it’s just the hope that I’m carrying around now.”

Deutschman lives in Bay Village. As soon as she heard that January 19th was the day she would be eligible for the vaccine, she started calling everyone she could think of to get more information.

“The only thing I don’t like is not being able to hug my grandchildren and children,” she said. “Really, that’s a big thing.”

The governor announced that 800 hospitals will be distributors of the vaccine. Ohio is getting 100,000 doses of the vaccine next week, but the population of adults 80 and older in Ohio is 420,000. So, you can expect some difficult in getting an appointment.

“We anticipate there’s probably gonna be especially at first more interest than we have supply so we wanna make sure that we’re very transparent with our patients,” said Dr. Robyn Strosaker, chief operating officer at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center.

Dr. Strosaker says they are in the process of setting up mass vaccination clinics in some of their administrative buildings.

“It requires not only a large amount of space it also requires a large amount of parking you know we’ll be vaccinating upwards of 200 people per hour, so traffic and parking are real considerations when you’re doing something this big,” Strosaker said.

Strosaker says they’ll have the capability to vaccinate 2,500 people a day, depending on how many doses they get. Patients will be able to schedule appointments online and over the phone.

Starting January 25th adults 75 and up will be eligible, the following week 70 and up, and then two weeks from then adults 65 and up.

“We’re planning additional sites you know drive-throughs and that sort of thing, but we would absolutely be willing to partner with anybody if there were big sites set up,” Strosaker said. “What we’ve learned from the employee-facing arm of this is that we can go really quickly if we have lots of lanes with lots of vaccinators.”

UH says they will have a survey on their website within the next couple of days where people can express interest in getting the vaccine. If you’re not in Cleveland, pay attention to your county’s board of health. They should be releasing more information Wednesday or Thursday.

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