Beginning earlier this week, Ohio entered what it is calling Phase 2D of its COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan. Phase 2D now makes the COVID-19 vaccine available in Ohio to anyone who chooses to receive it. Previously, due to a limited supply of vaccine doses the state was receiving, it was reserved for certain high-risk groups based on age, occupation, residence, or medical history.
Yesterday, at his latest regular COVID-related press conference, Gov. Mike DeWine announced that Ohio will begin working with employers to offer workplace vaccination clinics throughout the state. This is part of the effort to reduce potential barriers to vaccination and help increase vaccine uptake among workers.
To offer the vaccine on-site, employers will need to partner with “enrolled vaccine providers” – typically hospitals, pharmacies, or local health departments. These providers will bring mobile vaccination clinics to the workplace, where the shots can be administered to employees. This option will be available beginning the week of April 12. The on-site vaccination clinics must offer vaccination at no charge and during work hours.
If you are interested in offering vaccines to your employees, the first step would be to contact a local enrolled vaccine provider to discuss partnership options. Here is a link to a directory of vaccine providers. Vaccine providers will be permitted to allot up to 25 percent of their vaccine allocation in partnership with local employers to vaccinate employees at work locations.
While Ohio employers have already played an important role in helping to stop the spread of COVID-19 by encouraging the use of masks and other safe practices, the key to a return to normalcy and real economic recovery is reaching herd immunity through vaccination. Since the first doses of the vaccine began to be administered in Ohio in mid-December, almost 3.6 million Ohioans – about 31% of the population – have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. With this week’s announcement, employers now have the opportunity to make the vaccine easily available to and convenient for even more Ohioans by offering the vaccine to employees on-site.