When we started down this very long COVID road in early March of 2020, I don't think any of us could have imagined that we would still be battling this virus 11 months later and how much it would have impacted our lives and the lives of those we support. However, I am very excited to announce that the vaccine is here. We are doing our absolute best to get as many people with disabilities, and their direct care staff vaccinated as possible.
On January 11th, one of the first people in Richland County with a developmental disability received their first vaccine as a part of the clinics that were set up in our residential homes. I am very pleased to say that as of today, 91% of the men and women that live in our group homes have received their first-round vaccines. And will receive their second shot in the first part of February. This is the first step towards concurring this deadly virus and the individuals we support getting back to doing the things they enjoy and being able to spend quality time with family and friends.
Our agency is working diligently with the Richland County General Health Department to get the vaccine out to as many people in our system as possible!
Through our combined efforts, we have successfully given access to everyone in Governor DeWine's Phase 1A group of his distribution plan. For us, that is people living in congregate settings as well as their direct support staff.
Our next effort will focus on Phase 1B. According to the governor's plan, this phase includes adults "living with severe, congenital, developmental or early-onset medical disorders."
We are working carefully with the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities as well as our local health department to determine exactly who this phase expands access to, as well as when those vaccines will become available. If you are included in Phase 1B, you will be prioritized for a vaccine, and someone from the Service and Support Administration Department will be in contact with you to discuss your willingness to accept the vaccine, provide you with factual information about the vaccine, and help schedule an appointment if need be. We want you to know, we are excited to get this out to as many as possible, and we are working very hard to help ensure your safety. Anyone who has elected not to receive the vaccine during phase 1A is still eligible during 1B.
If you plan to get the vaccine and are offered the opportunity through your healthcare provider, employer, pharmacy, or your local health department, you do not need to wait to hear from us!
If you have any questions or concerns, you can reach out to your Individual Consultant or call our main number at (419) 774-4201.