CELINA (12-14-20) – The first phase of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution began today, as the vaccine was shipped to ten pre-selected hospitals across Ohio. Due to the limited supply of vaccine, the first phase of vaccine administration will focus on critical groups and not be available to the general public.

The first phase includes the following groups: healthcare workers and personnel who are routinely involved in the care of COVID-19 patients, residents and staff at nursing homes and assisted living facilities, patients and staff at state psychiatric hospitals, people with intellectual disabilities and those with mental illness who live in group homes or centers and staff at those locations, residents and staff at our Ohio veterans’ homes, and EMS responders.

According to the Ohio Department of Health, the vaccine has been shown to prevent COVID-19 and to decrease the severity of illness in people who catch this virus. Vaccinating a significant portion of Ohioans will help prevent serious hospitalizations and deaths, and will help Ohioans return to normal activities.

The vaccine will be provided free of charge and will require two doses to be given at least 28 days apart.  Possible side effects include fatigue, headache, soreness or redness at the injection site, and muscle or joint pain.  While these side effects may be unpleasant, they are simply indications that the body is responding to the vaccine and creating immunity from the virus. Please note that the vaccine is currently only available to people 16 years of age or older.  The COVID-19 vaccine is not available for pregnant women at this time.

The MCHD is currently reviewing our plans and policies for vaccine distribution.  We hope to conduct drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination clinics when the vaccine becomes available to the general public.  Please review https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/covid-19-vaccination-program for more information on Ohio’s COVID-19 vaccination program.

To help us plan for the vaccinations, we ask our community to complete a survey, which can be found here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MTH57TW.  Your continued patience is appreciated as we work through the vaccination process while continuing our daily COVID-19 pandemic response activities.

As of December 14, 2020, the Mercer County Health District (MCHD) reports 3,068 confirmed cases, 549 probable cases, 2,762 recovered cases, 47 pending cases, 15 hospitalizations, 56 deaths, and 14 probable deaths of COVID-19. There have been 9 confirmed cases who have passed away due to causes other than COVID-19. Currently, there are 236 active cases of COVID-19 in Mercer County.

Monthly COVID-19 Stats:

MonthNumber of Confirmed Cases
March (First case on 3/24)5 cases
April19 cases
May190 cases
June56 cases
July239 cases
August295 cases
September 283 cases
October544 cases
November1,115 cases
December – present322 cases