First round of vaccines coming to Scioto County

Staff report

SCIOTO — Scioto County is expected to receive its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines as early as Monday Dec. 21. Local health, education, and emergency management agencies are ready to activate coordinated vaccination plans that follow Ohio Department of Health guidelines.

The first supply of vaccines will be limited to frontline medical and public health workers and emergency medical responders.

“We need to first protect those who are providing frontline care for our growing number of positive cases,” said Dr. Jerod Walker, Scioto County Health Commissioner. “Vaccines are on the way and will be administered as quickly as possible.”

Health officials explained that it will likely take months for the vaccine to become available for everyone, so it is critical that people continue to wear masks, wash their hands, limit the size of gatherings and maintain social distance.

“Vaccine will become available in phases, with our medical community receiving the earliest doses, quickly followed by nursing home and assisted living residents,” said Chris Smith, Portsmouth City Health Commissioner. “We’ll have several community mass vaccination events for at-risk members of the community and the general public beginning in the coming weeks.”

Scioto Emergency Management Agency, Portsmouth City and Scioto County Health Departments, Southern Ohio Medical Center, King’s Daughters Medical Center, Shawnee State University, and South-Central Ohio Educational Service Center have joined efforts to plan and implement the vaccination process and keep the community informed.

The Scioto EMA has activated a Joint Information Center to implement the community plan and response to the vaccination process. The JIC will provide timely updates and information to the public.

A local information line is now available for questions about the vaccine that are not addressed by the Ohio Department of Health or the CDC. Local residents may call 740-352-7020 for information about vaccine availability. Updates will also be provided online at

Staff report