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COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Older Adults
Image shows an older man receiving a vaccination shot from a health care professional.

The state of Ohio is currently giving COVID-19 vaccines to certain Ohioans. Because of limited supplies, vaccines are being rolled out to different groups of Ohioans in phases. Vaccines will only be given to individuals who choose to receive them.

Ohio COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Locations

For assistance finding and accessing the COVID-19 vaccine for older adults in your community, please contact your area agency on aging. Call 1-866-243-5678 to be connected to the agency serving your community or find local contact information.

Vaccine Access for Older Ohioans

Phase 1A of Ohio's COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan began in December 2020 and included residents and staff in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. It also included healthcare providers who care for COVID-19 patients, as well as staff and residents of group homes for people with developmental disabilities or mental health disorders.

Phase 1B begins in January 2021 and includes Ohioans 65 and older. It also includes those living with severe congenital, developmental, or early-onset medical disorders, and adults who work in schools. 

Vaccines will be distributed to older Ohioans starting with the oldest Ohioans (age 80 and over). The minimum age will drop five years each week that follows until all Ohioans age 65 and up have access.

Tentative dates for older Ohioans to receive vaccines:

  • Week of Jan. 18, 2021 – Age 80 and older
  • Week of Jan. 25, 2021 – Age 75 and older
  • Week of Feb. 1, 2021 – Age 70 and older
  • Week of Feb. 8, 2021 – Age 65 and older

Vaccines for older Ohioans will be given by local health departments, hospitals, federally-qualified health centers, and some retail pharmacies. A provider search allows Ohioans to search by county and ZIP code to find a provider in their area to administer the vaccine.

Common Questions and Answers

What is COVID-19?

It is a new illness spreading around the world. It is also called coronavirus. It is a virus making people very sick. Getting this virus is bad for you.

What is a vaccine?

A vaccine is a medicine. It protects you from getting sick. For example, the flu shot is a vaccine. It protects you from getting the flu. Getting a vaccine is good for your health and could keep you from getting sick.

What do I need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine?

Many COVID-19 vaccines are being made. Most require you to get 2 shots. You get the second shot 3 to 4 weeks after you got the first one. The second shot is like a booster shot. You need to get both shots for the vaccine to work. The government makes sure all vaccines are as safe as possible. The vaccine is free.

Talk to your doctor about what could happen when you get the COVID-19 vaccine. There are some side effects. For example, your arm might be sore where you get the shot (just like when you get a flu shot), and you might feel tired or have a fever after you get the shot.

What is Ohio’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program?

It takes time to make enough vaccines for everybody. Ohio has a plan with a few phases to give the COVID-19 vaccines across the state to those who want to get one. People who are most at risk will get the vaccine first.

Who will get the COVID-19 vaccine?

In the early phases, the people most at risk will be able to get the vaccine if they want. This will include medical workers, people caring for COVID-19 patients, and people who live or work in group settings, such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Early phases also will include all Ohioans age 65 and older.

For now, the vaccine is not for children. Younger and healthy adults might have to wait until spring to get the vaccine. Once more vaccines are made, every person in Ohio will have a choice to get the vaccine if they want to.

Ask your doctor if you have questions about when it will be your turn to get the vaccine.

Why is the COVID-19 vaccine important for older adults?

Older adults are at higher risk to get very sick from COVID-19 because they may have illnesses that make it hard for their body to fight the disease. If they receive care or help from others, they may also be more likely to be in contact with someone who has COVID-19. 

Where can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Vaccines will be sent to hospitals, local health departments, and some pharmacies for them to give vaccines to eligible people who want them during the first phase. Once more vaccines are available, there may be more locations to get the vaccine.

Do I have to get the vaccine?

No, it is your choice to get the COVID-19 vaccine or not. The vaccine is important for the health of older adults and all those around them. Everyone plays an important role in reducing the risk of COVID-19 by getting a vaccine. Vaccines boost your immune system so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. Talk to your doctor about the benefits of getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

Do I need to get the vaccine if I already had COVID-19?

If you tested positive for COVID-19 that means you got the virus. We do not know enough about how long the protection lasts for those who have recovered from COVID-19. Talk with your doctor about getting the vaccine.

Will I need to wear a mask after I get a vaccine shot?

YES! You must wear a mask and follow social distancing rules after you get the vaccine. 

It takes time for the vaccine to build up in your body. We all must keep wearing masks. Doctors will tell us when it is safe to be in public without a mask.

Regional Vaccine Information

Use the links below to access local vaccine administration and related resources from your area agency on aging.

Image shows the 12 service regions of Ohio.Region 1 (Southwestern Ohio)
Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Hamilton & Warren counties

Region 2 (West Central Ohio)
Champaign, Clark, Darke, Greene, Logan, Miami, Montgomery, Preble & Shelby counties

Region 3 (Lower Northwestern Ohio)
Allen, Auglaize, Hancock, Hardin, Mercer, Putnam & Van Wert counties

Region 4 (Northwestern Ohio)
Defiance, Erie, Fulton, Henry, Lucas, Ottawa, Paulding, Sandusky, Williams & Wood counties

Region 5 (North Central Ohio)
Ashland, Crawford, Huron, Knox, Marion, Morrow, Richland, Seneca & Wyandot counties

Region 6 (Central Ohio)
Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Licking, Madison, Pickaway & Union counties

Region 7 (Southern Ohio)
Adams, Brown, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, Ross, Scioto & Vinton counties

Region 8 (Southeastern Ohio)
Athens, Hocking, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, Perry & Washington counties

Region 9 (East Central Ohio)
Belmont, Carroll, Coshocton, Guernsey, Harrison, Holmes, Jefferson, Muskingum & Tuscarawas counties

Region 10A (Eastern Lakefront)
Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain & Medina counties

Region 10B (Akron/Canton Area)
Portage, Stark, Summit & Wayne counties

Region 11 (Northeastern Ohio)
Ashtabula, Columbiana, Mahoning & Trumbull counties