Mahoning Co. health commissioner says local vaccine demand currently outweighs supply


Ryan Tekac wants the public to know the local supply of vaccines is pretty scarce

MAHONING CO., Ohio (WKBN) – The COVID-19 vaccine continues to roll into the Valley. New shipments are arriving but the vaccine is still scarce, meaning that the timeline for giving the shot could take longer, according to the Mahoning County Board of Public Health.

“We have a disproportionate amount of Phase 1A individuals here in Mahoning County. If you think about it, most of your health care systems are either located in Canfield, Austintown, Boardman,” said Mahoning County Health Commissioner Ryan Tekac.

Mahoning County Public Health is working to get as many Phase 1 people vaccinated as they can.

“What I truly need to stress is the scarcity of the vaccine. We only received 1,200 to date. We have clinics scheduled the whole month of January with, on average, where we can vaccinate each day approximately 330 to 360 individuals,” Tekac said.

As Phase 1B of vaccine distribution starts, you might be wondering where you can go to get vaccinated.

According to a source familiar with a web seminar put on by the Ohio State Department of Health on Monday, more than 1,900 vaccination providers have signed up to administer the vaccine across the state. The health department is working to put together a website with a complete list of all of these locations.

They’re asking vaccination providers to partner with faith-based organizations, community centers, trusted non-profits and others to plan mobile and pop-up clinics.

To meet the anticipated demand, Mahoning County Public Health has contracted more health care professionals to help with vaccinations.

“Contracts with 16 paramedics from Mahoning Valley that will assist in clinics,” said an attendee of the commissioners’ Zoom meeting on Monday.

Beginning Jan. 19, Ohio will begin vaccinating people 80 years and older. Each week, the vaccine will be available to people five years younger than the previous cut off until they reach people 65 and older.

Counties will get a minimum of 100 doses.

We will keep you updated on the progress of the website that will list all vaccination locations when we have more information.

Providers are encouraging people to make appointments for the vaccine online, but some locations will allow appointments to be made over the phone.

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