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Harrison opens new call list to vaccinate residents with medical conditions

CADIZ — The Harrison County Health Department opened a new registration survey for residents who have specific medical conditions defined by the Ohio Department of Health.

Although the county continues to focus on administering the COVID-19 vaccine to residents age 65 and older, it has now opened a new call list for residents with severe congenital, developmental, early-onset and inherited conditions.

Garen Rhome, administrator of the county health department, said currently only special medical conditions will qualify an individual to receive a vaccination in this next phase.

“We wanted to make sure we collected all the folks out there with those conditions. It includes adults of any age, 18 and older, with that specific list of conditions. We want to make sure anyone who is interested and eligible has quick and easy access; we don’t want anyone to miss out or get left behind,” he said.

The medical conditions included in the next round of Phase 1B vaccinations include county residents with:

• Cerebral palsy;

• Spina bifida;

• Severe congenital heart disease requiring hospitalization within the past year;

• Sever type 1 diabetes requiring hospitalization within the past year;

• Inherited metabolic disorders including phenylketonuria;

• Severe neurological disorders including epilepsy, hydrocephaly, and microcephaly;

• Severe genetic disorders including Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, Turner syndrome, and muscular dystrophy;

• Severe lung disease, including asthma requiring hospitalization within the past year, and cystic fibrosis;

• Sickle cell anemia;

• Alpha and beta thalassemia;

• Solid organ transplant patients.

Residents with the specified medical conditions can complete the survey listed on the department’s Facebook page or by visiting www.surveymonkey.com/r/medical_conditions_harrison. Rhome said residents are asked to include their name, date of birth, address, phone number and medical condition. He said once an individual has registered, the department will then reach out to the individual and schedule an appointment.

Rhome said he does not expect the group will be very large and hopes to vaccinate those who qualify in the coming weeks, along with continuing to vaccinate the age-based groups.

“We believe it will be a manageable number of individuals, so we should be able to get to them relatively soon,” he said.

The health department has temporarily paused the call list survey for age-based eligibility. Rhome said nearly 900 individuals remain on the list that the department plans to schedule and vaccinate in the next few weeks. He said the department has people still waiting to be vaccinated who registered in early January.

“We want to make sure we honor those who have been on the call list for some time. We have 65-year-olds who have been registered since Jan. 6, so we want to make sure we get everybody scheduled in the appropriate order,” he said.

The age-based registration survey will be reopened once the health department is close to having all those remaining on the call list scheduled, he said.

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