Youngstown Selected as Mass Vaccination Site

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Youngstown has been selected as a location for one of the state’s 15 long-term mass vaccination clinics, Gov. Mike DeWine announced Fiday. 

The site in Youngstown is still to be determined, according to the governor’s office. Earlier in the year, the Covelli Centre was prepared for use as a treatment clinic for those with COVID-19, but ultimately was not used for that purpose.

The clinics are intended to expand regional access to COVID-19 vaccinations, the governor said. 

“Mass vaccination clinics have always been part of our plan, but adequate supply is necessary for larger sites, so it was crucial that we first established local provider sites in all 88 counties to ensure that every citizen in every community has a provider nearby,” DeWine said in a statement. “Now that we have 1,250 local vaccine providers and a significant increase in vaccine supply expected at the end of March, this is the right time to finalize and prepare to launch these large-scale regional clinics.”

The regional clinics will begin in a few weeks as supply becomes available and will operate until they are no longer necessary.

“Mahoning Valley was once the COVID-19 hotspot in the state. It is good to see our needs taken care of and have attention paid to this area. I am relieved we are getting the resources we need to vaccinate the hard working people of the Valley,” state Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan, D-Youngstown, said in a statement.

Clinics will also be established in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Akron, Chillicothe, Marietta, Lima, Maumee, Dayton, Wilmington and Zanesville. Four mobile clinics will cover northwestern and west-central Ohio, southeastern Ohio, north-central Ohio and east-central Ohio.

The regional mass vaccination sites will be locally operated with support from the Ohio Department of Health and Ohio Emergency Management Agency. Clinics will be equipped to administer between 300 and 3,000 vaccines a day depending on location, supply and demand. 

Ohio’s established vaccine providers can also expect to see an increase in their vaccine allotment as supply increases, and vaccine doses may also be allotted to new providers.

Any Ohioan who is eligible to receive the vaccine under the Ohio Department of Health’s vaccination plan may be vaccinated at any the mass vaccination clinics. Ohio will also work closely with the clinics to ensure equitable access for high-risk residents and medically underserved communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the virus.

Several appointment-scheduling options will be available, including the use of Ohio’s forthcoming central scheduling system for some sites. The sites are not yet taking reservations, but specific instructions on how to book an appointment will be announced later this month. Dates of operation and hours will vary, but sites will offer both weekday and weekend appointments.

DeWine also announced that 50,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine will be dedicated to two pop-up mass vaccination sites in Columbus and Cincinnati. The pop-up clinics will open shortly after the March 17 start date of Cleveland’s mass vaccination site and will offer 12,500 first doses at each location. Those vaccinated during the Columbus and Cincinnati pop-up mass vaccination sites will be guaranteed a second dose. Exact site locations are pending.

The 50,000 vaccine doses for these pop-up mass vaccination clinics were initially required by the federal government to be set aside for use in Ohio’s more than 2,400 long-term care facilities as part of the federal long-term care program. Ohio was one of the first states to begin drawing from the unused long-term care vaccine supply to provide vaccines for the general population. 

Ohio has already administered nearly 160,000 reallocated doses from the program to the public.

A complete list of the selected regional mass vaccination clinic sites and associated local partners can be found at Governor.ohio.gov. 

For more information on Ohio’s vaccination plan, visit Coronavirus.ohio.gov/vaccine.

Pictured: A nurse administers the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to a health worker. (AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar)

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.