Pandemic Vaccine News & Updates
March 24, 2021
Vaccine eligibility to expand to 16 and older – Phase 2D, effective March 29, extends vaccine eligibility to Ohioans ages 16 and older.
o With parental or legal guardian consent, individuals ages 16 and 17 will be eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine, which is the only COVID-19 vaccine currently authorized for use with people under age 18.
o If providers have appointments left to fill before March 29 and vaccine could be at risk of going to waste, that vaccine should be given to anyone who meets the product age requirements (Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, 18 and older | Pfizer, 16 and older).
Vaccine Management Solution scheduling – Providers are required to either report vaccinations completed via the Vaccine Management Solution (VMS) scheduling website or an electronic health record (EHR) that interfaces with the state’s VMS system. The state anticipates this will enhance the customer-service experience for Ohioans, reduce data lags, and provide real-time information on vaccination progress at the state and county level.
o The remaining VMS 411 information sessions for this week and next week have been canceled. We will continue to provide individual support and answer questions about VMS through our Ohio Department of Health COVID-19 Provider Call Center between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, at 1-844-9ODHVAX (1-844-963-4829) or COVIDVACCINE@odh.ohio.gov.
o To receive an account activation link, providers receiving allocations must first log in to their OHID account to complete the Vaccine Provider Locations form. Step-by-step instructions for adding or updating information are available on the VMS training page.
o Vaccine providers who are receiving allocations and have completed the form but have not received an invitation to join VMS are asked to call the ODH Provider Call Center.
o VMS training resources are available on the COVID-19 Vaccine Providers page.
Mass vaccination sites – Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center mass vaccination site is offering up to 6,000 doses of vaccine per day, 7 days per week. First doses of the Pfizer vaccine are available through April 5. Second doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be available for those vaccinated during the first three weeks from April 6-26. The single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be available from April 27-May 10.
o Regional mass vaccination clinics will operate in Akron, Chillicothe, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, Lima, Marietta, Maumee, Wilmington, Youngstown, and Zanesville beginning the week of March 29.
o Columbus and Cincinnati pop-up clinics will be held April 8-11 at St. John Arena at Ohio State University and April 8-10 at the Cintas Center at Xavier University.
o Mobile clinics will distribute vaccine in four regions: northwest/west-central Ohio, southeast Ohio, north-central Ohio, and east-central Ohio.
Nursing home visitation policies updated – ODH has updated orders related to assisted living facilities and nursing homes. The general visitation requirements will remain the same, including the requirement that visitors schedule appointments in advance, are screened at the door, and wear masks. Changes to the orders include:
o Ohio is requiring that visitation be permitted whenever safety protocols can be met. Previously, visitation was permitted, not required.
o Vaccinated residents may have physical touch with their visitor while wearing a mask.
o Visits may occur in a resident’s private room, as opposed to the previous requirement of a separate visitation area.
o 30 minutes should serve as the minimum amount of time for a visit. Previously, 30 minutes was the maximum time to visit. o The order expands the circumstances in which compassionate care visits should be granted.
In addition, the order updates nursing home and assisted living testing requirements to require the facilities to test vaccinated staff once per week and unvaccinated staff twice per week. The previous order made no distinction between vaccinated or unvaccinated staff.