CEO Update | Ohio’s patient vaccine phase is moving forward
The United States remains the epicenter of this pandemic. It is a hard and unfair truth that our most vulnerable citizens suffer the poorest outcomes from COVID-19. As a result, there is growing urgency in how state governments distribute vaccines to this population.
We received new directives from the State of Ohio late last week. Healthcare organizations, including Cleveland Clinic, will turn to vaccinating patients.
- Phase 1B begins with Ohioans age 80 years and older. Review the entire Phase 1B timeline on the Ohio Department of Health website.
- Ohio healthcare workers who have not yet been vaccinated will now be eligible as patients, following Phase 1B and future directives.
- We receive our vaccine supply from the State of Ohio and therefore must follow the guidelines. Patients and caregivers in Florida are vaccinated under separate guidelines.
I understand how this feels if you have patiently waited your turn, were unable to schedule or still deciding to participate. While we have made strong progress vaccinating caregivers, we have been limited by vaccine supply. We have vaccinated 25,000 Ohio caregivers and 4,000 in Florida.
From the beginning, this pandemic has evolved in ways we could not predict. There have been moments of frustration and disappointment. We remain committed to getting all caregivers vaccinated but this will take longer than we had hoped.
In an upcoming message, we will address your questions about caregiver and patient vaccination.
Ohio has an aging population. More than 2 million Ohioans are estimated to be in Phase 1B, with a substantial number living in the communities we serve.
An overview of our patient vaccine process is on clevelandclinic.org for Ohio and Florida. It will be by appointment only, and there is no walk-in availability. MyChart is our preferred method for patients to schedule a vaccine appointment, and we are also reaching out to those who need assistance.
We recently honored the life and service of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I encourage you to watch our day of celebration, which includes a keynote address from Congresswoman Marcia Fudge.
Our patience has been tested all through this pandemic. Less than a year ago, the prospect of a vaccine felt so distant. Proudly, we stayed focused on our care priorities and keeping each other safe.
Being there for each other, and our patients, is how we need to process and get through this latest challenge. Your patience and support will be essential as more vaccines are distributed.
Thank you for your dedication.
Tom Mihaljevic, MD
CEO and President