CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio — As the week of Feb. 8 begins, eligibility opens under Ohio’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program for those in Phase 1B who are 65 and older.

Cuyahoga County is ready to begin vaccinating those 65 and older, while the Cuyahoga County Board of Health said it will continue its push to finish vaccinating people in Phase 1A.

What You Need To Know

  • Cuyahoga County residents who are 65 and older in Phase 1B can begin scheduling appointments to receive a COVID-19 vaccine

  • The Cuyahoga County Board of Health said it will continue its push to finish vaccinating people in Phase 1A, primarily frontline workers and those in congregate living facilities, while Phase 1B is underway

  • The Cuyahoga County Board of Health announced it allowed its stay-at-home advisory, which went into effect Nov. 18, 2020, to lapse on Jan. 31

  • Cases of COVID-19 in Ohio’s long-term care facilities are decreasing, which allowed the state to redirect 77,000 doses to local pharmacies

Residents who are unclear whether they are eligible can sign up to be notified through the board of health website.

The board of health also announced it has allowed its stay-at-home advisory, which went into effect Nov. 18, to lapse on Jan. 31.

In a statement, the board of health said it had been working in partnership with many area hospitals and healthcare providers to continue vaccinating people eligible in Phase 1A, which kicked off in December.

Phase 1A includes mainly frontline healthcare workers, EMS and staff and residents in congregate living facilities.  

In the meantime, the board of health asked those eligible in Phase 1B, which kicked off Jan. 19, to schedule vaccinations at one of the pharmacies around the county approved for distribution, rather than at the board of health, or at hospitals.

Phase 1B includes residents 80 years of age and older, those with severe congenital or developmental issues, and specific medical conditions, and staff of Kindergarten through 12th grade schools.

That enabled the board of health and area hospitals to continue working to vaccinate those in Phase 1A, which the health department said will continue.

Cuyahoga County residents in Phase 1B must call providers directly to make an appointment to receive their vaccination. Local providers include health care centers, Family Qualified Health Clinics or a variety of local pharmacies, including Walgreens, Marc’s, Drug Mart, Giant Eagle, Church Square and others.

The county has provided an interactive map populated with providers to enable residents to search by address for the nearest location.

The board of health warned, however, that this progress doesn’t mean the virus is less prevalent or dangerous.

“We highly recommend that residents continue to follow the guidance that details the effective prevention measures that reduce the risk for COVID-19 transmission,” the statement reads, citing hand washing, social distancing and avoiding crowds. “We know these prevention measures work. We should not let our guard down or consider the threat of COVID-19 transmission to be a thing of the past.”

Ohio is starting to see a drop in cases of COVID-19 for residents in long-term care facilities, and was among the top five states to work aggressively to vaccinate that population, according to Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted in a vaccine update.

Ohio was able to redirect 77,000 doses that were unused by the long-term care program to CVS and Walgreens pharmacies, the state said.  

The state distributes the two available brands of the COVID-19 vaccine, which require two doses: Moderna is given 28 days apart and Pfizer given 21 days apart.

With about 73,000 doses per week shipped to Ohio, Pfizer is expected to increase its shipment size by about 40 percent between mid- and late-February, with a greater increase possible in March, the state said.

Moderna is expected to increase from 73,200 doses shipped in late January to 105,600 doses in the next week, the state said.

For more information on Ohio’s vaccine program, visit the Ohio Department of Health website or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.