Our plan in Ohio for next phase of COVID-19 vaccination

We have been successful in vaccinating more than 20,000 of our caregivers in Ohio with the COVID-19 vaccine in just four weeks. While there is still a ways to go for caregivers to receive the vaccine, at the direction of the State of Ohio, we are now pivoting to start vaccinating the community.

On Jan. 19, we will begin to vaccinate the community — specifically our established patients — following state and federal guidelines for the next phase, called Phase 1B.

In Ohio, Phase 1B includes patients age 65 and above (grouped by age, beginning with 80 and above), individuals with severe congenital, developmental, or early onset medical disorders, and K-12 school staff and personnel.

Group 1B includes more than 2.2 million Ohioans, and will likely take several weeks to complete. We anticipate it will take months to go through subsequent phases until everyone who would like to receive a vaccine can do so.

This is a complex process and patient vaccine distribution will be a partnership between hospitals, county health departments and retail pharmacies.

This will impact how caregivers will be able to receive the vaccine moving forward:

Per direction from the State of Ohio, all healthcare organizations in the state have been given the deadline for healthcare workers, as part of Phase1A, to have their vaccinations scheduled by midnight, Sat., Jan. 16. Currently, based on vaccine supply all of our vaccination appointments are filled.

What this means:

  • Caregivers already scheduled to receive their first dose of the vaccine will still be able to receive it.
  • The government has committed to providing second dose vaccination to healthcare workers, even as patient vaccination begins.
  • Caregivers who are not yet scheduled for first and second doses, will no longer be able to schedule their vaccine as part of Phase 1A, and instead go into the vaccination program, along with the general public, based on age and medical conditions as set by the state guidelines. Please contact Occupational Health after vaccination to document your receipt of the vaccine.
  • Open scheduling tickets in MyChart for you as a caregiver will be removed on Saturday, Jan. 16 at midnight. Caregivers who wish to be vaccinated can log into MyChart for notification of future vaccine appointment availability once eligible under state guidelines.

We anticipate a great demand for the vaccines from the public and many of you will receive questions or requests for the vaccine. Below is additional information to help you respond. We will continue to provide updates as we go through the public vaccination process.

The latest details about Phase 1B:

  • Vaccination appointments for Cleveland Clinic patients 80 years and older in phase 1B will open on Saturday, Jan. 16. Cleveland Clinic has more than 80,000 eligible patients in this age group. The supply of vaccines is very limited and scheduling will be suspended once our vaccine supply is allocated. It will resume as we receive shipments of COVID-19 vaccine doses.
  • Cleveland Clinic will contact our oldest, most vulnerable patients aged 80 and older to let them know they can schedule their vaccination via MyChart, text message or phone call. If a patient is not contacted, we ask for patience as this is all dependent on vaccine supply and will take time.
  • Established Ohio Cleveland Clinic patients will schedule their vaccine when they are eligible, in MyChart. Patients should make sure they are signed up for MyChart and able to log in.
  • Established patients are those who have been seen by a Cleveland Clinic provider in the last two years.
  • We ask that you encourage patients to enroll in MyChart, which will be our primary method of contacting and scheduling patients for their vaccines. Remind them to regularly check their MyChart for invitations to schedule their vaccinations. As we get more vaccine supply, we will open more appointments.
  • We are committed to communicating frequently and transparently with caregivers, patients and the community about our appointment availability (based on supply) and eligibility.
  • Each Saturday, appointments will be made available in MyChart for those who are eligible for the upcoming week, as long as we have vaccine supply.
  • COVID-19 vaccines will be given at designated vaccination clinics across the communities we serve. The vaccine locations for the public will include: Cleveland Clinic Akron General Health & Wellness Center in Bath, Fairview Hospital, Hillcrest Hospital, main campus, and Medina Hospital. Based on vaccine allotment, we may have different days of operation for each site. No walk-in clinics are planned at this time.
  • Individual providers and offices will not have vaccine supply to distribute to patients.
  • At this time, we, along with other health systems, have been directed by the state to only vaccinate our patients. We have offered to help more with the public vaccination and are awaiting further direction. State and local counties will be facilitating additional public vaccinations in partnership with Walgreens and CVS, and through their own local health departments.
  • We continue to ask everyone for patience. This is a complex process and will take time for everyone to get the vaccine. Please reinforce this with others.
  • The state of Ohio’s planned schedule for Phase 1B includes:
    • Jan. 19—Ohioans 80+
    • Jan. 25—Ohioans 75+; people with severe congenital, developmental and early onset medical disorders*
    • Feb. 1—Ohioans 70+, K-12 staff/personnel
    • Feb. 8—Ohioans 65+
  • *Examples of eligible medical disorders include, but are not limited to:
    • Cerebral Palsy
    • Spina bifida
    • Congenital heart disease
    • Type 1 diabetes
    • Inherited metabolic disorders
    • Severe neurologic disorders
    • Severe genetic disorders (Down Syndrome, Fragile X, Prader-Willi, Turner)
    • Severe lung disease (Cystic Fibrosis, severe asthma)
    • Sickle Cell Anemia
    • Alpha- and beta-thalassemia

It’s important to continue practicing public health measures such as masking, social distancing, frequent hand washing and avoiding gatherings, even after being vaccinated.

As a healthcare provider, we care deeply for our patients, our caregivers, and our community.

The COVID-19 Toolkit and https://my.clevelandclinic.org/landing/covid-19-vaccine/ohio will be updated regularly with information for patients.

We want to make sure our community has every opportunity to receive the vaccine. Appointments may also be available at other hospitals, health departments and pharmacies. For more information, please visit the Ohio Department of Health website at https://vaccine.coronavirus.ohio.gov/.