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Area Office on Aging offers answers to COVID-19 vaccine questions for those 65 and older

Regina A. Russell, a registered nurse, says the vaccine is the best method for preventing transmission and contraction of the virus for the older population.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Just a week from Tuesday, Ohioans age 80 and older can get the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Gov. Mike DeWine addressed the 65 and older population during his regular press briefings on Tuesday, acknowledging they may have questions. 

"I want to assure everybody 65 years of age and older is a priority, but it's going to take a while," said DeWine.

The Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio is also urging everyone who is 65 years of age or older to be vaccinated.

"We believe the vaccine is the best method for preventing transmission and also contraction of the COVID-19 virus for the older adult population," said Regina A. Russell, a registered nurse and the performance management lead for the Area Office on Aging.

On Tuesday, DeWine announced the vaccine should be available by Feb. 28 and if you have questions, you can call the Area Office on Aging.

"There's a lot of misinformation and disinformation out there. That's one of the big roles that the governor is asking the Area Office on Aging and our counterparts across the state to take on," said Justin Moor, the vice president of planning and program development at the Area Office on Aging. 

Moor says they've been getting a lot of calls with a lot of the same questions. 

"One is, is it safe? And yes is the answer to that. Second question we've been getting calls about is, when can I get the vaccine? And that really depends on the individual's age," said Moor.  

And a third question is, how can I get vaccinated? The answer to that is those 80 and older will start receiving the vaccine next week. 

And then every week after that, the age will decrease by five years. 

"State government and the federal government are adamant that the vaccine will be available at no cost or at a minimum, very low cost. We are expecting that our older adult population who agree to receive the vaccine will not be paying anything for that vaccine," said Russell. 

Vaccinations will be available at hospitals, some retail pharmacies, federally qualified health clinics and county health departments. 

DeWine said he is working on having a third company ship more vaccines to Ohio. 

The Area Office on Aging plans to offer transportation to the vaccination sites. 

If you have any questions or need help, you can call the Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio at 419-382-0624 or visit their website at areaofficeonaging.com