Corona Feature Img

Ohio has started distributing safe, effective COVID-19 vaccines statewide to those who choose to be vaccinated. The COVID-19 vaccine development process included steps comparable with those used to develop previous vaccines, such as the flu or measles vaccine. While vaccine supply is limited, Ohio will follow a phased approach to vaccine administration. In the first vaccination phase, priority will be given to individuals at the highest risk, as well as essential health care workers and personnel caring for COVID-19 patients. 

As supply increases, COVID-19 vaccines will be available to all Ohioans who choose to be vaccinated.

  • Phase 1 (Supply Limited) – Vaccine is available in limited supply and will be available only for specific critical populations. Ohio will focus on vaccinating those most at risk, as well as essential healthcare workers and personnel caring for COVID-19 patients.
  • Phase 2 (Supply Increasing) – Vaccine availability is increasing and can be offered to a larger group of specific critical populations who choose to be vaccinated.
  • Phases 3-4 (Widely Available) – Once the vaccine is widely available, Ohio will continue to strategically vaccinate Ohioans if they choose to receive the vaccine.

Ohio is now beginning Phase 1B. Phase 1B will provide vaccines to Ohioans age 65 and older and those living with severe congenital, intellectual or developmental disabilities, or early-onset medical disorders. Also included in Phase 1B are K-12 school employees as part of a plan to resume or continue in-person learning or hybrid models by March 1, 2021.

  • Week of Jan. 19: Ohioans age 80 and older.
  • Week of Jan. 25: Ohioans age 75 and older; those with a developmental or intellectual disability AND specific severe congenital or developmental disorders.
  • Week of Feb. 1: Ohioans age 70 and older; employees of K-12 schools that have committed to remain or return to in-person or hybrid models.
  • Week of Feb. 8: Ohioans age 65 and older.
  • Week of Feb. 15: Ohioans with specific severe congenital or developmental disorders.

As supply increases, COVID-19 vaccines will be available to all Ohioans who choose to receive the vaccine. 

COVID-19 Vaccine Town Halls
The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) is hosting a series of Town Halls to provide reliable, trustworthy information about COVID-19 vaccines. Medical experts, community leaders and public health professionals will answer common questions and debunk COVID-19 vaccine myths.

Watch livestreams at the following dates and times:

  • Monday, March 1, 6:30 p.m. - Asian American and Pacific Islanders Ohioans
  • Tuesday, March 2, 6:30 p.m. - Rural Ohioans

You can watch the Town Halls live or access the videos online after the event on the ODH YouTube channel or ODH website. Learn more at coronavirus.ohio.gov/townhall.

Things you need to know about the COVID-19 Vaccine:
It is safe and effective. Your safety is the top priority of researchers and manufacturers who created the COVID-19 vaccine. Clinical trials, FDA evaluation, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) review were part of the development process.

Two doses of the vaccine are required to offer full protection. They are given several weeks apart. The first vaccination primes the body’s immune system and helps it recognize the virus. The second vaccination strengthens the immune response.

The vaccine is free for all Ohioans regardless of the type of insurance you have or if you don’t have any insurance.

Only the COVID-19 vaccine can protect against the virus. Other vaccines will not protect you.

The vaccine is approved for ages 18 and up for the Moderna product and ages 16 and up for the Pfizer-BioNTech product.

Where Can You Locate Vaccine Providers?
The Ohio Department of Health has developed a search tool for Ohioans to use to find a vaccine provider near them. Ohioans can visit: https://vaccine.coronavirus.ohio.gov/ to find a vaccine provider near them. It is searchable by ZIP code and county, and only displays those providers currently receiving vaccine shipments. Click here for help using the vaccine provider search tool.


Ohioans can also reach out to their health insurance provider for assistance in finding a vaccine provider and scheduling an appointment.

Continue to Protect Yourself and Others by:

  • Staying home as much as possible.
  • Washing your hands often.
  • Wearing a mask that covers the mouth and nose and practicing social distancing.

Stay up to date on Ohio’s COVID-19 response and vaccine program at: coronavirus.ohio.gov

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I get vaccinated? 
COVID-19 continues to spread in Ohio. COVID-19 can cause severe medical complications and lead to death in some people.

The COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you from getting COVID-19. The COVID-19 vaccine has been shown to prevent COVID-19 and to decrease the severity of illness in people who catch the virus that causes the disease.

How effective are the COVID-19 vaccines? 
All COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States have been shown to be highly effective at preventing COVID-19 after two doses.

Of the first two vaccines to be granted FDA emergency use authorization, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 95% effective and the Moderna vaccine was 94% effective in phase 3 clinical trials with more than 70,000 participants between the two studies. Although the COVID-19 vaccines have been developed recently, the technology used in mRNA vaccines, like those developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, has been studied for decades.

When will I be able to receive the vaccine?
Ohio will follow a phased approach to vaccine administration, with the goal of saving lives.

As supply increases, COVID-19 vaccines will be available to all Ohioans who choose to be vaccinated.

  • Phase 1 (Supply Limited) – Vaccine is available in limited supply and will be available only for specific critical populations. Ohio will focus on vaccinating those most at risk, as well as essential healthcare workers and personnel caring for COVID-19 patients.
  • Phase 2 (Supply Increasing) – Vaccine availability is increasing and can be offered to a larger group of specific critical populations who choose to be vaccinated.
  • Phases 3-4 (Widely Available) – Once the vaccine is widely available, Ohio will continue to strategically vaccinate Ohioans if they choose to receive vaccine.

The Ohio Department of Health will have regular updates on the phases at: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/covid-19-vaccination-program

Can I get a COVID-19 infection directly as a result of receiving the vaccine?
No. The live COVID-19 virus is not present in the mRNA vaccines currently approved for use (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna) and there is no risk of becoming infected as a direct result of receiving the vaccine. Side effects for up to 72 hours after receiving the vaccine – including body aches, low-grade fever, or fatigue – are generally mild and are a sign that your body is building an immune response.

Are there side effects from the COVID-19 vaccines?
The most common side effects are very similar to the side effects seen with most vaccines, such as pain or swelling at the injection site, fevers, and tiredness within 72 hours after the vaccine.

If I already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine when it is available?
Yes, COVID-19 vaccination should be offered to you regardless of whether or not you already had COVID-19. While getting the virus does offer natural immunity, it is unknown how long that immunity will last. However, anyone currently infected with COVID-19 should wait to get vaccinated until after their illness has resolved and after they have met the criteria to discontinue isolation.

How many doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be needed?
Both currently approved vaccines require two doses. Ohioans who receive a dose of a particular vaccine must receive a second dose of the vaccine from the same manufacturer, as they are not interchangeable.

The Pfizer vaccine second dose is due 21 days after the first dose, and the Moderna vaccine second dose is due 28 days after the first dose. Both doses are required to provide full protection.

How much will the vaccines cost?
The COVID-19 vaccines will be available to everyone in Ohio at no cost to the consumer, whether you have health insurance or not.

Do I still need to wear a mask and practice social distancing after I receive the vaccine?
Yes, you should continue to wear a mask that covers the mouth and nose and practice social distancing after being vaccinated. The vaccine will protect you from getting ill from COVID-19. However, not enough is known about whether you can still carry the virus and spread it to others. At this time, those who get the vaccine should continue to wear masks and practice social distancing.

How do I know which sources of COVID-19 vaccine information are accurate?
It can be difficult to know which sources of information you can trust. The internet, unfortunately, can be filled with dangerous misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines. The best thing you can do is educate yourself about the vaccines with trustworthy information. Learn more about finding credible vaccine information in this article from the CDC at https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/evalwebs.htm

Were minorities or people with high-risk health conditions included in the clinical studies?
Yes. The Phase 3 clinical trials for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine (more than 43,000 participants) and Moderna vaccine (more than 30,000 participants) included communities that have historically been under-represented in clinical research and have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Approximately 42% of participants in Pfizer-BioNTech’s worldwide clinical trials, and 37% of the Moderna study population were from communities of color, which is similar to the diversity of the U.S. at large. In addition, the clinical studies included participants over age 65 (21% of Pfizer-BioNTech participants; 23% of Moderna participants); and those with high-risk chronic diseases that put them at increased risk of severe COVID-19, such as diabetes, severe obesity, and cardiac disease (46% of Pfizer-BioNTech participants; 42% of Moderna participants).