This article was last updated Jan. 15 at noon to include additional information about receiving the vaccination through UH Samaritan Hospital.
ASHLAND -- Ashland County residents who want to receive a COVID-19 vaccine are encouraged to schedule an appointment at one of three locations within the county, according to a Thursday morning news release presented at the Ashland County Commissioner's meeting.
The Ashland County Health Department (ACHD), University Hospitals Samaritan Medical Center and Discount Drug Mart on Claremont Avenue are expected to receive a limited number of the Moderna vaccine next week. Those doses are allocated to the priority groups outlined in Ohio Gov. Mike Dewine's Jan. 7 address.
At least through the ACHD, those now eligible to register within Ashland County include residents age 65 or older, residents who work for a K-12 school or residents who have severe developmental, medical or congenital disorders.
The vaccine distribution timeline for Phase 1B of Ohio's vaccination program is set to begin next week with those ages 80 and older.
The week of Jan. 25, vaccinations will open up to those age 75 and older; the week of Feb. 1, vaccinations will be available for those age 70 and older; and the week of Feb. 8, vaccinations will open up for those age 65 and older.
DeWine has also indicated the COVID-19 vaccine will be available to those with severe congenital, developmental, or early-onset medical disorders on Jan. 25.
For school personnel, vaccinations will begin Feb. 1 -- providing the school districts commit to going back to full in-person or hybrid learning by March 1. Currently, all school districts in Ashland County are operating in-person or hybrid.
"These are anticipated dates. Because if we don't receive any vaccines for two weeks, that schedule is pushed back," Commissioner Denny Bittle said. "It's an anticipated schedule.
"In my opinion, right now, it's a hopeful schedule. Do not put that in your calendar like it's going to happen."
Vaccine providers are not expected to vaccinate everyone in each age group in one week. As new age groups are authorized to receive vaccinations, previous age groups will continue receiving the vaccine.
"The health department doesn't know when and how much they will get. It is just shipped to them," Bittle said. "They've been coming in doses of 100 the last several weeks, and that's all they get. We aren't getting doses of 500 or 1,000, so please be patient.
"We don't know when we're going to get them, but when we get them, the vaccines are distributed and sent out immediately."
How to register
Residents are asked to not attempt scheduling at more than one location.
As with any vaccine, if you are ill, you will need to wait until you are feeling better to receive it. Please do not come to any of Ashland County's vaccine clinics if you are ill. This includes exhibiting fever greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, cough, shortness of breath, muscle or body aches, sore throat, vomiting or diarrhea.
Please wear a mask or face covering when coming to a clinic. If the location is busy, please keep your distance from others.
1. Ashland County Health Department
To register via the ACHD, visit ashlandhealth.com.
Registration through the health department is open for Tier 1A, which includes first responders, and Tier 1B, which includes residents age 65 or older, residents who work for a K-12 school or residents who have severe developmental, medical or congenital disorders.
Those without internet service are urged to visit a library or have a family member register for them online, as the Ashland County Health Department is overwhelmed with calls.
Those who need to call should contact 419-562-5871.
"They can't even keep up with the day they are working on. Please be patient, understand that and please use websites. That's where information is to get in line," Commissioner Bittle said.
2. Discount Drug Mart
To register through Discount Drug Mart, call 419-281-7880. Pre-registration through the pharmacy via the phone number provided is required.
The Discount Drug Mart is located at 1631 Claremont Avenue, Ashland.
3. University Hospitals Samaritan Medical Center
Community members who meet the requirements for Phase B should register for the vaccine through the Ashland County Health Department’s website. The local hospital will be administering vaccinations in partnership with the ACHD.
The vaccination location for those who register in this way will be the Samaritan’s East Main Street building, 663 East Main Street in Ashland.
All vaccinations are by appointment only.
The community can also register for COVID-19 vaccines through the UH website, but please note that those registered in this way will only receive vaccinations at the UH Management Service Center in Shaker Heights, Ohio.
As of Thursday morning, Registration for Phase 1B through UH Samaritan was not yet open. Those interested in registering in this way are instructed to "please check back." The website is uhhospitals.org/vaccine.
The most updated information will be published by the ACHD at ashlandhealth.com. Information is subject to change at any time.
Those who receive the vaccine are asked to continue taking precautionary measures, such as social distancing and mask wearing.
The staff at the ACHD has emphasized that it’s still unknown if a vaccinated person can carry and spread the virus to someone who is not vaccinated.