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OPA COVID-19 Vaccines: February 8, 2021 Update

OPA COVID-19 Vaccine Update and Independent Pharmacy Involvement

February 8, 2021

Today, Governor DeWine’s phased rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine will include Ohioans age 65 and above for vaccination at pharmacies with allocated vaccines. Additionally, K-12 school staff and school personnel essential to students’ in-person education (teachers, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, environmental services, etc.) will continue to be vaccinated. Here is a list of organizations included in this week’s vaccine allocation for schools.

The following vaccine topics are based on feedback provided by pharmacists currently vaccinating patients along with questions received from our members:

Reports of Suspicious Phone Calls to Vaccinators

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) notified all COVID-19 vaccination providers of recent suspicious phone calls. People posing as local health commissioners or ODH call vaccinators with questions about vaccine allocation or shipment details. Vaccinators are cautioned to be careful about the information shared with callers. Take the time to verify the caller's identity. If you are still unsure about the caller’s identity, contact the ODH Provider Call Center between 8:00 am – 7:00 pm Monday through Friday and 8:00 am – 5:00 pm Saturday and Sunday, at 1-844-9ODHVAX (1-844-963-4829) or email [email protected].

Building Vaccine Confidence and Removing Patient Hesitancy

As the vaccine allocation becomes more widespread, vaccinators will encounter higher instances of patient vaccine hesitancy. There are several communication tools available to help provide evidence-based information and verbiage to assist patients. ODH has provided a FAQ page that addresses myths that patients commonly share. Additionally, national pharmacy organizations have created resources for pharmacists to build patients' confidence as they consider getting the vaccine, including this resource from the American Pharmacists Association. OPA is also working to provide members access to educational materials specifically designed to address patient hesitancy. More information will be shared soon.

We applaud the efforts of our OPA members who have jumped into vaccination efforts across the state. If you have a story or pictures to share about your COVID-19 vaccination efforts, we would like to showcase them to the rest of the membership. Please send your stories and pictures to Jessica Wotruba at [email protected].

OPA is working diligently to facilitate communication between state decision-makers and member pharmacists. We want to thank you for all the questions received recently. OPA has created multiple COVID-19 resources, including a COVID-19 Vaccine Information Webpage, COVID-19 Testing Hub, and COVID-19 Resources Webpage, on the OPA website www.ohiopharmacists.org under the Resources drop-down box. Additionally, OPA members have offered their experience as a resource if any pharmacy needs assistance in signing up as vaccinators or have general COVID-19 vaccine-related questions. For further questions, please contact Myriam Shaw Ojeda at [email protected].

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