Coronavirus and Vaccine Information
Council on Aging is working with partners in our community to help older adults get vaccinated against COVID-19. Individuals who need assistance navigating online registration systems or finding vaccine providers in their community may contact us for assistance. We are doing our best to connect older adults to the latest information and resources regarding vaccine availability in their community. Information about the vaccine is changing rapidly and it is difficult to keep up - even for our staff. We ask for your patience as the number of calls to our call center has drastically increased and we are doing our best to navigate a rapidly changing situation. On this page, we have compiled relevant information and resources to provide the latest factual information about the vaccine and Ohio's vaccination program. Please check back often for updates.
Transportation assistance for COVID-19 vaccine appointments
Older adults who need assistance getting to their vaccine appointmetn can contact Council on Aging for assistance. Using COA's network of transportation providers, we can coordinate and provide appropriate transportation for older age 60 and older who are unable to get to a vaccination site.
- Vaccine providers that need to schedule transportation for patients - click here for more information
- Older adults who need transportation assistance to a scheduled vaccination appointment, call (855) 546-6352. If you are a Council on Aging client and need transportation assistance, please contact your care manager.
- 48-72 hours notice is required to schedule transportation. Same day appointments cannot be accomodated at this time.
Homebound? Get screened to have the vaccine administered at home
Individuals who feel they need to be vaccinated in their homes can contact COA at (513) 721-1025 to be screened for eligibility. Specific eligibility guidelines and details are here.
Information about where and when you can get vaccinated
Updated 3/18/2021: Ohio is distributing safe, effective COVID-19 vaccines statewide. This effort is being led by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH). Vaccine availability is expected to be limited for some time. As a result, ODH, has developed a plan for vaccinating those most at risk first. Click here to stay up to date on the status of vaccine availability and distribution in Ohio.
Most older adults living in the community (not in a long-term care facility) are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Beginning March 29, Ohioans age 16 and older are eligible.
Eligibile individuals can get vaccinated through a variety local providers, including public health departments, hosital systems, your health care provider, pharmacies and federally-qualified health centers. Some health departments have created vaccine registration or interest forms on their websites. Links to these forms are provided below and will be updated regularly. After you complete the form for your health department, and when vaccine is available, you will be contacted by the health department to schedule your vaccine. It is important to note that health departments are just one example of where people can get vaccinated. You must live within the health department's jurisdiction in order to receive a vaccine from them. For other providers, each vaccine provider will have their own vaccine appointment scheduling process. Click here to search a statewide database of vaccine providers.
Ohio has created two online tools to help Ohioans find vaccine providers and available appointments.
- Click here to search a database of vaccine providers in Ohio. You can search by county. This list is updated frequently. You cannot schedule an appointment directly from this database.
- Click here to search for available appointments for a COVID-19 vaccine. This database attempts to find available appointments at providers across the state. Only people who are currently eligible to be vaccinated can access this system. In some cases, you can schedule an appointment directly from this website.
Ohio is also planning several statewide mass vaccination clinics. In COA's region, these clinics are being held at the Cintas Center and the Wilmington Air Park. Click here to stay up to date on when these clinics will be held and how to register.
Additional resources for finding available vaccine appointments include:
The Health Collaborative
County Health Departments
Questions about Ohio's COVID-19 Vaccination Program should be directed to the Ohio Department of Health's COVID-19 call center: 9 am-8 pm, 7 days a week at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).
What you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine
We are all concerned about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The Coronavirus that is spreading now is considered “novel,” which means this type of virus has never before been identified. Since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2019, the world’s health community has learned much about how the virus affects those who are infected and how it spreads. Scientists all over the world worked together to develop a vaccine to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Public health experts agree: COVID-19 vaccination will play a critical role in stopping the pandemic and allowing society to return to normal.
What is herd immunity?
Herd immunity occurs when a large portion of a community (the herd) becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. As a result, the whole community becomes protected — not just those who are immune. Click here to learn more.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) for two COVID-19 vaccines which have been shown to be safe and effective as determined by data from the manufacturers and findings from large clinical trials. These data demonstrate that the known and potential benefits of this vaccine outweigh the known and potential harms of becoming infected with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID 19). Click here to learn more about vaccine safety and the clinical trial process.
Ohio Department of Health: COVID-19 Myth vs. Fact
Vaccine side effects
The most common side effects are very similar to the side effects seen with most vaccines, such as sore arms, fevers, and tiredness within 72 hours after the vaccine. These side effects usually mean that the vaccine is working to generate an immune response, indicating that the vaccine is working.
The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), is a national program managed by the CDC and FDA to monitor the safety of all vaccines licensed in the United States. VAERS collects and reviews reports of adverse events that occur after vaccination. An “adverse event” is any health problem or “side effect” that happens after a vaccination. VAERS cannot determine if a vaccine caused an adverse event, but can determine if further investigation is needed. This same system is being used to monitor side effects from all COVID-19 vaccines. Click here for more information about VAERS.
COVID-19 and older adults
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified older adults and people who have severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung, or kidney disease at higher risk for more serious COVID-19 illness. Age increases the risk that the respiratory system or lungs will shut down when an older person has COVID-19 disease.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, 93% of COVID-19 related deaths in Ohio are among people age 60+.
Click here to read about CDC recommendations and extra precautions for older adults.
Click here to view a checklist for older Ohioans and people with chronic health conditions
Preventing illness from viruses such as COVID-19 and the flu
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However the CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
Current recommendations for older adults and others at higher risk
The CDC and local public health officials recommend that people at higher risk follow the prevention tips above, and also take the following actions:
- Stock up on supplies.
- Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others.
- When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often.
- Avoid crowds as much as possible.
- Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel.
- During a COVID-19 outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible to further reduce your risk of being exposed.
- Stay up to date on CDC Travel Health Notices.
Have questions about COVID-19 or Ohio's vaccination program?
The Ohio Department of Health has opened a call center for the public to ask questions about COVID-19. It's available seven days a week, 9 am-8 pm at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).
For complete and up-to-date information about the rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19, or more information about preventing flu and the current prevalence of flu, visit these resources:
Center for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus Website
Ohio Department of Health Coronavirus Information for the Public
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Flu Information
Ohio Department of Health Flu Information
National Council on Aging Coronavirus Information
Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Council on Aging, Ohio Department of Health