As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the Athens City-County Health Department (ACCHD) has continued to receive a limited supply of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, according to a ACCHD press release.
The vaccine is available for those who have been identified in Phase 1A, a tiered distribution system determined by the Ohio Department of Health. Phase 1A includes frontline health care workers, long-term care facilities residents and employees and EMS workers.
Soon, the Athens City-County Health Department will begin vaccination for Phase 1B which includes k-12 adult staff, people 65 years of age and older, and people with congenital disabilities. This process could begin “as early as next week, depending on the availability,” according to the press release.
Those interested in receiving the vaccine and are at least 65 or are a person with a congenital disability, are encouraged by the ACCHD to call them at 740-592-4431 to be added to a vaccination interest list.
“When it is time for you to receive your vaccine, you will receive a phone call with a recorded message that will provide information about how to schedule an appointment,” the press release stated.
The Moderna vaccine requires two doses for full protection offered by the vaccine; they occur no sooner than 28 days apart. The second dose is tentatively scheduled at your first appointment. A 15 minute observation is require upon receiving the vaccination.
The ACCHD warns that the vaccine should not be viewed as a complete safety net.
“Even if you have been vaccinated, it is extremely important to continue safety measures such as wearing a facial covering, physical distancing, cleaning surfaces, and limiting the number of people who gather, until everyone receives a vaccine. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, getting a COVID-19 vaccination makes it substantially less likely you will get COVID-19 and may also help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19. Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you,” the press release states.
Those who are interested in being tested for COVID-19 will have the opportunity next week in Nelsonville, as the city is hosting a free pop-up COVID-19 community testing event in partnership with Athens City/ County Health Department and the State of Ohio on Monday, Jan. 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Nelsonville/ York High School, 1 Buckeye Drive in Nelsonville.
There are no criteria for testing and the event is open to anyone ages two and older. Children 17 and under must have a guardian present. Insurance is not needed as the testing is free, however masks are required at the event.
The event is drive up, but walkers and bicyclists are also welcome. At the event, testing will be performed by the Ohio National Guard.
There will be an express lane for those with their forms already filled out. The forms are available online at https://nelsonvillecity.files.wordpress.com/2021/01/pop-up-covid-19-test-forms_01182021-nelsonville.pdf.
Local residents who test positive will be notified by the Athens City/ County Health Department. Anyone who tests positive but lives outside of Athens County will get contacted by their local health department.
For information regarding COVID-19, contact the ACCHD at 740-592-4431 or visit the website www.athenspublichealth.org, Facebook page, and twitter @acchd_oh. Other information can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention page, www.cdc.gov, and the ODH Coronavirus page, www.coronavirus.ohio.gov.