In the United States, nearly 19% of the population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, as of March 11. Ohio comes in at almost 18% of residents vaccinated. Vaccine distribution is still limited by age, occupation, and health conditions, but even when you qualify, it can be hard to get an appointment.
Read below for details about the COVID-19 vaccine phases in Ohio, where/how to get a vaccine appointment when it’s your time, and more details.
Current Vaccine Phase Schedule
Ohio is currently in Phases 1B, 1C, 1D, 2A and 2B of its COVID-19 vaccination program.
Healthcare workers who are exposed to COVID-19 patients, EMS responders, in-patient residents and long-term patients as well as staff in various facilities
Jan. 19: Ohioans 80 years of age and older.
Jan. 25: Ohioans 75 years of age and older; those with severe congenital or developmental disorders.
Feb. 1: Ohioans 70 years of age and older; employees of K-12 schools that wish to remain or return to in-person or hybrid models.
Feb. 8: Ohioans 65 years of age and older.
Feb. 15: Ohioans born with or who have select early childhood conditions that are carried into adulthood, which put them at a higher risk for adverse outcomes due to COVID-19. Ohioans with one of the above qualifying medical conditions may choose to receive the vaccine at the provider of their choice, but will be asked by their vaccine provider to verify that they are, in fact, eligible at this time.
March 4: Phase 1C includes approximately 246,000 eligible Ohioans with certain occupations and with certain medical conditions not addressed in previous phases.
- People aged 16—64 years with underlying medical conditions which increase the risk of serious, life-threatening complications from COVID-19.
- Individuals who have additional medical conditions that may increase their risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19. The new qualifying conditions are not already covered through Ohio’s age-based approach to vaccine eligibility.
- Ohioans who work in certain occupations, including child care services, funeral services, and law enforcement and correction services.
March 11: This phase includes:
- Individuals who have specified medical conditions that may increase their risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19. The new qualifying conditions are not already covered through Ohio’s age-based approach to vaccine eligibility.
- People with type 2 diabetes under the age of 50.
- People with end-stage renal disease (also known as end-stage kidney disease) under the age of 50.
March 4: Ohioans ages 60 and older. Individuals age 60 and older previously eligible under Phase 1B or Phase 2A who have not yet received the vaccine remain eligible under Phase 2B.
March 11: Ohioans ages 50 and older
Future phases tba.
Where to get a COVID-19 vaccine in Ohio
If you qualify for your vaccine based on employment (school, healthcare facility, etc), your employer should make arrangements for your vaccines. If you qualify due to medical conditions, you may need to make arrangements through your medical provider, or be able to show eligibility at the time of your vaccine at retail locations. Groups defined by age will receive the vaccine from local health departments, hospitals, federally-qualified health centers, as well as some retail pharmacies.
Check the website of your local county health department to learn more about vaccinations in you community. You can also sign up to receive updates from the local health department. The Ohio Vaccine Provider Locations search is available at vaccine.coronavirus.ohio.gov. You can search by county and ZIP code to find a provider in your area to administer the vaccine.
Each provider manages its own schedules and appointments. There’s no real trick to getting an appointment – most people we’ve talked to have had to call over and over, or check the online scheduler regularly, while others are able to snag an appointment right away. Keep trying!
You do NOT have to get your vaccine within your city or county. All Ohioans are eligible to receive a vaccine anywhere in Ohio, so if you can’t find any appointments in your nearby area, you can schedule for anywhere you are willing to drive. Check surrounding counties for more options.
Ohio Mass Vaccination clinics
The State of Ohio is sponsoring 18 mass vaccination clinics to ensure all Ohioans have access to COVID-19 vaccine as it becomes more widely available. Once they are operating, any Ohioan who is eligible to receive the vaccine under the Ohio Department of Health’s vaccination plan will be able to get a vaccination at any of Ohio’s mass vaccination clinics. Find information here about each clinic and how to sign up for a vaccine appointment.
In Columbus locations will include:
- Mobile clinics
- Celeste Center at the Ohio Expo Center & State Fair, 717 E. 17th Ave., Columbus, OH 43211.
- St. John Arena at Ohio State University, 410 Woody Hayes Drive, Columbus, OH 43210
Which vaccine should you take?
Vaccine recipients must be age 16 or older to be eligible for the Pfizer vaccine, and age 18 or older to be eligible for the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
Currently, three vaccines are authorized and recommended to prevent COVID-19. Click the links to see more details about each, or see information about vaccines, trials, and more here.
The following vaccines are currently in Phase 3 Clinical Trials.
- AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine
- Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine
Still unsure about taking a COVID-19 vaccine? Read this article from Mayo Clicic “COVID-19 vaccine myths debunked”
Ohio COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall
Have more questions? Save the date for Ohio’s COVID-19 Vaccine Town Halls, where your vaccine questions will be answered. Hear from medical experts, community leaders, public health professionals, frontline workers, and people who have been vaccinated. More details for how to watch livestreams for the following audiences will be shared in the near future; check link for details.
• Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/OHdeptofhealth/
• YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/c/OhioDepartmentofHealth1
• Online – https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/townhall
Watch later on the Ohio Channel. Find your local channel and the date and time it will air by
checking with your PBS station or television provider.
Looking for more COVID-19 Vaccine information?
Find more details, FAQs, and resources at Ohio Department of Health COVID-19 Vaccination Program or one of the local or county vaccine program websites. See below for quick links for several Central Ohio county health departments vaccine pages. Some offer call-back lists and waiting lists for when appointments become available.
- Franklin County Public Health
- Columbus Public Health
- Licking County Health Department
- Delaware County Health Department
- Union County Health Department
- Madison County Health Department
- Pickaway County Health Department
- Fairfield County Health Department