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. On this page, we have compiled relevant information and resources to provide the latest factual information about the vaccine and Ohio's vaccination program.
Transportation assistance for COVID-19 vaccine appointments
Older adults who need assistance getting to their vaccine appointment can contact Council on Aging for assistance. Using COA's network of transportation providers, we can coordinate and provide appropriate transportation for older adults 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.
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 2020, 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.
COVID-19 Vaccines and the Delta variant
Updated 7/8/2021: COVID's delta variant is the dominant variant in the United States. Please read on to find out more about what this means.
Variant Classifications and Definitions (CDC)
Delta is now the dominant variant in the US, the CDC estimates (NY Times)
COVID's delta variant is highly contagious. Will vaccines work against it? (NBC News)
Vaccines work well against COVID-19 Delta variant (UC Health)
Information about where and when you can get vaccinated
Ohio is distributing safe, effective COVID-19 vaccines statewide. This effort is being led by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH). Vaccines are readily available throughout the area and many locations even offer walk-up vaccinations. Visit here for locations in the greater Cincinnati area.
Eligibile individuals can get vaccinated through a variety of local providers, including public health departments, hospital 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.
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 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 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).