PERRY COUNTY — The Moderna Vaccine for COVID-19 is now in Perry County. Scheduled to arrive in doses of 100 per week, the vaccine has already been distributed to three clinic sites in the county. Thornville, Shawnee, and Crooksville have had clinic sites set up for the vaccine to be administered.

Lt. Doug Gill of the Perry County Sheriff’s Office has been designated the Public Information Officer (PIO) for the Perry County Unified Command. He says most questions about the vaccine and COVID-19 can be answered at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

Lt. Gill says Perry County will distribute the vaccine according to guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM).

Healthcare workers and personnel routinely involved in the care of COVID-19 patients are at the top of the list. Residents and staff in nursing homes and assisted living facilities will be next. Patients and staff at state psychiatric hospitals will receive the vaccine next.

People with developmental disabilities and those with mental health disorders who live in group homes, residential facilities, and the staff at these locations will follow. This includes substance abuse users.

Residents at Ohio’s two homes for veterans will then receive vaccinations followed by EMS responders. Lt. Gill has asked the chiefs of Perry County’s 10 law enforcement agencies to compile lists of their personnel. Jim Mickey of the Perry County Health Department is doing the same task with the 11 fire departments in Perry County.

The Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine is an unapproved vaccine according to the FDA. However, the FDA has authorized the emergency use of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine to prevent COVID-19 in individuals. The vaccination is a two-dose series given one month apart. The FDA has authorized emergency use of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine for individuals 18 years and older.

While the vaccine is being touted as the best way to overcome the pandemic, side effects may occur in some individuals.. Side effects include injection site reactions such as pain, tenderness, and swelling of the lymph nodes in the same arm of the injection. Swelling and redness may also occur. General side effects include: fatigue, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, chills, nausea/vomiting, and fever.

The vaccine has a remote chance of causing severe allergic reactions that may occur within a few minutes to one hour after getting the dose. Signs of an allergic reaction include: difficulty breathing, swelling of your hands and face, a fast heartbeat, a bad rash all over the body, and dizziness.

Before getting the vaccine, people are asked to tell the vaccine provider about allergies, the presence of a fever, and if they have a bleeding disorder. To learn about conditions that would indicate someone should not receive the vaccine, individuals are asked to go to coronavirus.ohio.gov.

The distribution of the Moderna COVID-19 is currently aimed at populations at high risk of testing positive for the virus. With Perry County’s allotment currently set at 100 doses per week, it could be summer before the vaccine is available to the general public.

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