The Delaware Public Health District will continue its walk-in clinics this week for those who wish to receive the COVID-19 (coronavirus) vaccine.
The first DPHD walk-in vaccine clinic this week is Tuesday from 3 to 7 p.m. at Unity Community Center, 50 Ross St. in Delaware. The second is Thursday from 2 to 6 p.m. at Church of the Saviour, 11239 Fancher Road, Westerville.
Two more Health District walk-in vaccine clinics are scheduled. The first is May 26 from 2 to 4:30 p.m. at People In Need, Inc. at 138 Johnson Drive in Delaware. The second is June 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Juneteenth Festival in Blue Limestone Park, 6 King Ave. in Delaware.
Also next week, the health district will have a first dose COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer) clinic for school age children 12 and older from 2:30 to 7 p.m. May 27 at Willis Education Center (east door), 74 W. William St. in Delaware. The second dose will be administered at the same location from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 19.
Individuals may preregister for these clinics at DelawareHealth.org/covid-19vaccine or by calling the DPHD at 740-368-1700. The district offers vaccinations for the homebound, as well as workplaces that employ 50 or more. You can even get free rides to and from the appointments using Delaware County Transit by calling 740-363-3355.
The district’s weekly COVID-19 Vaccine Breakdown on Monday said 29,880 doses have been received so far, unchanged from last week. A total of 25,421 doses have been administered so far. Therefore, 85% of doses received have been used. There are 256 doses reserved for this week’s clinics and 753 upcoming appointments.
In another item of good news from the DPHD, the average new cases per day per 100,000 population has fallen to three, the lowest its been in a year. Last week, Delaware County dropped from red back to orange on the state’s Public Health Advisory System for the first time since last October.
“As a reminder, fully vaccinated people that come in contact with a COVID-19 case do not need to quarantine,” DPHD said in its weekly update.
To clear up what may be a point of confusion, the DPHD noted, “While the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) said on (May 13) that masks and social distancing are no longer necessary for people who have been fully vaccinated, they also stated that these new directives do not override any existing state and local guidelines, including those of individual businesses and workplaces.”
In the state of Ohio, that means “the Ohio Department of Health will remove most pandemic health orders on June 2. ODH set this timeline to allow any Ohioan who has not yet received a COVID-19 vaccine to obtain one to protect themselves and others before the lifting of coronavirus mitigation protocols.”
Those health orders include face coverings, social distancing and capacity restrictions. However, they will remain for nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
As an incentive to get more people vaccinated, Gov. Mike DeWine announced a series of statewide drawings administered by the ODH with assistance from the Ohio Lottery Commission. Eligible Ohioans under 18 could win a full-ride scholarship to any Ohio state college or university, and those 18 or older could win up to $1 million. Drawings for each age group take place for five weeks starting May 26.
Delaware remains the only county in the state to have more than half of its population started on the vaccine, said the Ohio Department of Health. There are 116,497 residents who have started on the vaccine, or 55.69% of the population.
Delaware County also has the highest vaccination completion rate among Ohio’s 88 counties. Delaware has 103,748 people who have completed the vaccine, or nearly half its population. More than 5,000 residents completed their shots since last week. No other county in the state has even reached 45%.
The Ohio Department of Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard said nearly 5 million Ohioans, or 42.7% of the population, has started on the vaccine. Statewide, 4.3 million have completed the vaccine, or 37.5% of the population.
The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center said Monday that Ohio remains seventh in the nation for the number of people fully vaccinated. However, it has fallen below the US average in terms of percentage of people fully vaccinated.
The CDC’S Coronavirus page said 266.6 million vaccines have been administered in the United States, up 5 million from last week. In comparison, 1.4 billion vaccine doses have been administered globally, Johns Hopkins said.
Of those Americans who have gotten a shot, 154.6 million people have received at least one dose, which is 46.6% of the US population. That is up 1.6% from the previous week. Nearly 119 million people are fully vaccinated, which 35.8% of the US population, and a 3% increase from last week.
Last week, President Biden said, “To date, we have given out 250 million shots in 114 days, and we’re seeing the results. Cases are down in 49 of the 50 states. The New York Times has reported that hospitalizations are the lowest they’ve been since April of 2020, over a year ago, right after the start of the pandemic. Deaths are down 80% and also at their lowest levels since April of 2020 … In less than four months, we’ve gone from 5.5% to nearly 60% of the adults in America with at least one shot in their arm.”
May 16 through May 22 is Emergency Medical Services Week in the United States. In his proclamation, President Biden said, “With selflessness, professionalism, and grace under fire, they provide essential care — never more so than during our battle with COVID-19 over the past year.”
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.