SHELBY — More details are emerging as Shelby prepares to receive its first delivery of coronavirus vaccines.
“We’re hoping to receive the vaccines in by some time next week,” Tiffiny Ellenberger, Shelby's director of nursing, said in remarks to Shelby City Council's Safety Committee on Jan. 6. “We will start with Phase 1A and quickly move through the phases so we can get to the general public with those vaccines.”
Phase 1A includes health care workers and personnel routinely involved in caring for COVID-19 patients, residents and staff at nursing homes and assisted living facilities and EMS responders, for example, according to the state.
After the meeting, Ellenberger said that Shelby is looking to receive an initial delivery of possibly 200 of Moderna Inc.’s COVID-19 vaccine.
“It seems like that is what they are sending is increments of 200 to all of the health departments,” she said.
“So once you get it, you’ll be back in 28 days,” Ellenberger said of the two-dose vaccine.
In her remarks to the committee, Ellenberger said the information she had received about the coronavirus shot coming to Shelby had been provided by Dr. Ajay Chawla, Shelby’s health commissioner and medical director.
In comments to the committee, Shelby Mayor Steve Schag previewed the city’s current preparations for eventual public vaccinations.
“We are looking at a couple of different sites here in town,” he said. “Tiffiny is going to observe how Richland Public Health is handling their vaccination clinic right now.”
“If we can get some paperwork out, maybe get some things filled out beforehand when the vaccines do come, we are able to start rolling things out,” Schag said. “We’ll be able to hit the ground running.”
A refrigeration unit is in Shelby in anticipation of the vaccine’s arrival.
“We are keeping track of the temperatures mornings and evenings,” Schag said. “We have to do that before we receive the vaccinations. We’re trying to make sure everything is lined up so when they do come, we’ll be able to administer right away, as quickly as possible.”
He spoke about the potential logistics involved.
“Schools and so forth, we’ll probably go on-site to do the vaccines there,” Schag said, adding that he had talked with the school district's administration. “A teacher out of the classroom for 15-20 minutes, they can manage that. But if they have to go off-site for an hour or so, that is a little harder. That’s the general plan.”
Phase 1B also includes school teachers and other school staff who will be offered the vaccine in an effort to get Ohio's children back to school as soon as possible, according to a recent news release from Gov. Mike DeWine.
Earlier in the committee meeting, Ellenberger provided an update on coronavirus data as of Jan. 6 in the Shelby community.
“Over the past couple of the weeks, the total number of new cases are down from what they had been,” she said. “So that is a good thing.”
“Hopefully, the numbers keep continuing to trend down and people get the vaccines, and we’ll quash this virus,” Ellenberger said.
Shelby City Councilman and committee member Garland Gates suggested the use of volunteers to assist with paperwork issues involving the vaccine.
“For example, I can do registration for people,” he said.
“Tiffiny, can sit there and do it all, but as an RN, her time is best spent poking people in the arm,” Gates said. “Let someone else do the paperwork, which is equally important.”
Gates' assistance offer extended to potential school vaccination sites.
Mayor Schag said: “That is much appreciated. All hands on deck.”
“This is all new to all of us,” Schag also said. "We’ll get all of our ducks in a row. Then we can help facilitate volunteers. That is a great idea.”
Check the Shelby Daily Globe for further updates on the Safety Committee meeting on topics unrelated to the coronavirus.