There is no doubt that when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine, seniors in Washington County have questions. The O’Neill Center reached out to Anne Goon, Health Commissioner with the Marietta/Belpre Health Department to ask what the most frequently asked questions are. Below are her answers. Don’t forget that the O’Neill Center offers transportation to and from medical appointments, including vaccinations. Call 740-373-3914 and ask for Kerry Patrick if you need transportation.
Q. Will there be enough COVID-19 vaccine for everyone?
A. Yes, there will eventually be enough COVID-19 vaccine for everyone who wants it. However, supplies are very limited right now, so Ohio has prioritized those at greatest risk to get vaccinated first. Healthcare providers and nursing home residents are some of the people at very high risk, so they are in Phase 1A. Seniors aged 65 and older are in Phase 1B, because state data shows that the older you are, you are at greater risk of severe illness or death if you contract COVID-19.
However, it’s very important to realize that it will take several months (probably 8-9 weeks) to have enough vaccine for everyone in Phase 1B that wants it. So it is vital that you continue to stay home except when you need medical care, groceries, and prescriptions (if you can’t have them delivered or picked up through a drive-through window). Avoid gatherings of people you don’t live with, wear a mask when around others, and wash your hands frequently.
Q. I’m 81 but my spouse is 78. Can we get our COVID-19 vaccinations at the same time?
A. Yes, but…. You can both get your COVID-19 vaccination at the same time IF the older spouse is willing to wait until the younger spouse is eligible. Those aged 80 and older are eligible to be vaccinated starting January 19, while those aged 75-79 aren’t expected to be eligible until January 25.
Q. I’m 65, but I have congestive heart failure and a history of colon cancer. Can I get my COVID-19 vaccination on January 19?
A. No, you cannot. You become eligible for the vaccine based upon your age, not your underlying health conditions. Those aged 65-69 are expected to become eligible on February 8.
Q. Where can I get the COVID-19 vaccinations in Washington County?
A. You will be able to choose among several approved COVID-19 vaccine providers. Each provider will get a VERY limited supply each week and must comply with social distancing and safety requirements (for example, you must sit and wait at least 15 minutes after getting your shot before you can leave). Appointments will likely be required by all providers. Providers include:
· Giant Eagle Pharmacy (call to confirm)
· Kroger’s Pharmacies in Marietta and Belpre (call to confirm)
· Marietta/Belpre Health Department
· Memorial Health System
· Washington County Health Department
Each location has their own method for scheduling an appointment. For example, Kroger’s is using a call center while Washington County Health Department is offering online registration, which can be found https://calendly.com/clinics-2
· Marietta/Belpre Health Department is offering appointments each week in Marietta and Belpre. Please call 1-866-395-1588 to schedule an appointment. This number can be called between 9 am and 7 pm, Monday through Saturday.
Q. Who can I call if I have more questions?
A. Senior citizens with questions on the vaccination process are urged to contact the Area Agencies on Aging at www.aging.ohio.gov or by calling 1-800-331-2644.
Here is a website for details of where to get vaccinated: