COVID-19 vaccine

 MOUNT VERNON - Knox Public Health reports there is plenty of local interest in the COVID-19 vaccine, especially among residents age 65 and older. And, if all goes as planned, KPH will be able to start distributing vaccine to those residents soon.

On Thursday, state officials promised more COVID-19 vaccine is on the way, and it will be designated for the older population. Beginning the week of Jan. 18, vaccine will be made available, statewide, for those age 80 and older. The week of Jan. 25, vaccinations will open up to those age 75 and older; the week of Feb. 1, vaccinations will be available for those age 70 and older; and the week of Feb. 8, vaccinations will open up for those age 65 and older. In Knox County, there are more than 10,000 people in these age categories.

Gov. Mike DeWine also indicated that COVID-19 vaccine will be available for school personnel beginning Feb. 1 – providing the school districts commit to going back to full in-person or hybrid learning by March 1. Currently, all school districts in Knox County are operating in-person or hybrid.

Health Commissioner Julie Miller said she is not sure if the agency will be distributing vaccine via appointments or mass vaccination clinics. It all depends on how much vaccine is received.

“If shipments continue to be just 100 doses a week, administration will probably be by appointment,” she said. “If larger shipments are received, a drive-thru clinic might be planned.”

Next week, Knox Public Health will hold a news conference with other community partners to announce how and when the vaccine will be distributed.

As of Thursday (Jan. 7), Knox Public Health has administered all 300 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine it has received. Those doses went to individuals in Phase 1 which includes emergency medical service workers; congregate care facilities such as group home residents and staff; and medical providers, home health staff, and 25 members of the Knox Public Health Staff. Director of Nursing Lisa Dudgeon said that all doses were given to individuals.

“No doses were wasted,” said Dudgeon.

She expects Knox Public Health to continue vaccinating Phase 1 individuals next week before moving on to the older population groups by the third week of January.

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