CELINA- (1-13-21)The Mercer County Health District (MCHD) and the Mercer County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) are partnering to lead the COVID-19 vaccination efforts in Mercer County.

The first population eligible for vaccination in phase 1B of Ohio’s vaccination program includes those who are 80 years of age or older. A drive-thru vaccination clinic for this group will be held on Wednesday, January 20, 2021, from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM at the Mercer County Fairgrounds. The MCHD will receive a limited supply of vaccine and it will be given on a first come, first served basis. No appointments will be scheduled.  Because of the limited supply of vaccine, the clinic may close early if the supply is exhausted.  Individuals not meeting the age criteria will not be vaccinated. Each person who is eligible and wishes to be vaccinated are asked to bring their insurance card and identification or other proof of age to the clinic.  All contracted private insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare will be billed for a vaccine administration fee.  No out-of-pocket payment will be collected. 

MCHD Administrator Jason Menchhofer

“The Mercer County Health District staff, Mercer County EMA, and other partners have successfully held more than ten annual drive-through flu vaccination clinics.  This unique experience has prepared us to vaccinate many people efficiently when they need it most.  In the early weeks of vaccination, the number of people we can vaccinate will be limited by the available supply of vaccine, not by our capacity to vaccinate.”.

The vaccine will require two doses.  For anyone who receives the first dose of vaccine on January 20, 2021, the next dose will be due anytime after February 17, 2021.  Possible side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine 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.

Currently, the MCHD and EMA are in the planning stages for future drive-thru clinics which will be held for the other groups in Phase 1B. The supply of the vaccine will help determine how we continue to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to our community. New information will be shared via the MCHD website, social media, and traditional media as it becomes available. If possible, please monitor these sources for new information rather than calling the health department office.  A statewide vaccine provider search will be available on the statewide COVID-19 vaccination program website at coronavirus.ohio.gov/vaccine beginning January 14, 2021. 

Mercer County EMA Director Mike Robbins adds –

“The citizens of Mercer County can be confident that COVID-19 vaccine will be distributed as quickly as possible through the cooperation of many County partners. Please be patient as the vaccine is still in short supply.”