TOLEDO, Ohio — The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department says that about 4,000 county residents 80 or older will have received their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by Saturday, and that work is ongoing to ensure doses are not wasted.
During a virtual news conference Thursday morning, Health Commissioner Eric Zgodzinski said this week, which kicked off the first week of Phase 1B vaccinations, 99% of the scheduled vaccines have been taken, barring cancellations.
"More than 4,000 will be vaccinated by Saturday. We are well on our way to do what we've been asked to do, which is to ensure the 80-year-old and older population is vaccinated," he said.
Zgodzinski said that there have been people who have not shown up for their scheduled appointments to take the vaccine.
"We cannot waste doses," he said. "If you're going to sign up, please make sure you make every effort to get to your appointment. If you can't, cancel as soon as you can."
The handful of no-shows have resulted in four people who are on a "fallback list" - but not in Phase 1B or 1A - getting the vaccine. This includes three corrections officers.
Zgodzinski said that police officers are on a fallback list because he knows they want to be vaccinated and they can be easily reached if an unscheduled dose arises, preventing waste.
He's told all vaccine providers that they re to have fallback list and the health department is continuously working to refine that system.
He also said if people ages 80+ missed getting vaccinated this week, they can - and should - still sign up.
People ages 75 and older can start scheduling for next week right now. Zgodzinski noted there were traffic issues on the web last week when the scheduling was rolled out. The department since has adjusted its bandwidth with its provider and the website is also revamped to make it more user-friendly.
- Starting Jan. 19, the county started vaccinating those in the 80 years and older category.
- Starting Jan. 25, people ages 75 and older will be vaccinated.
- On Feb. 1, the county will vaccinate people ages 70 and older and will accommodate vaccines for employees of K-12 schools who wish to remain or return to in-person or hybrid learning.
- Starting Feb. 8, people ages 65 and older can be vaccinated.
The health department has this link on its website where people in the appropriate age groups can click to begin the process to obtain a vaccination.
Guidelines for 1B scheduling are as follows:
1. Appointment is required. You must schedule ahead as no walkups will be available.
2. You must wait until your phase starts, as specified above.
3. You must live or work in Lucas County to qualify for vaccination.
4. You must provide ID. A photo ID or similar document is needed for proof of age.
If you were able to pre-register, you should have received a confirmation e-mail about scheduling an appointment. In order to actually schedule an appointment, go to the TLCHD website here, and click "get an appointment."
Do not call the hospitals directly, scheduling is done through the health dept. website. However, registration through Rams Health Center or Riverside Community Health Center is separate and will require a direct call. Those phone numbers will also be available on the TLCHD website.
Once you are able to schedule an appointment at a Lucas County hospital, you should get a confirmation e-mail with the date, time and exact location for your appointment along with a map. You will also receive an e-mail 72 hours and two hours out, to remind you of your appointment.