Portage County preps for vaccine distribution in K-12 schools


Ohio vaccine phases infographic

Rachel Gross TV2 reporter

Portage County is continuing to roll out vaccines to the Tier 1B group in Ohio’s vaccination efforts against COVID-19. 

Beginning Monday, K-12 school personnel in Portage County will be able to receive vaccines, Portage County Health Commissioner Joseph Diorio said in a media briefing Thursday. Even bigger news is that the county will be able to vaccinate all school personnel within the county.

“I have 1,300 doses coming next week, so we can accomplish [vaccinating] 100% of our school personnel,” Diorio said. 

If all 88 Ohio counties vaccinate their school personnel by the end of February, they can then begin to administer second doses in March.

Individuals in the Tier 1A group are currently receiving their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We continue to receive vaccines designated for 1A [individuals’] second dose,” Diorio said.  

Portage County is no longer receiving initial doses of the vaccine to administer to 1A groups, according to Diorio.

While health officials are pleased with the number of vaccines being administered, they warn the state still has a long way to go in the fight against COVID-19.

Medical Director Mark Arredondo warns about a condition called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) that may be a result of COVID-19.

“It’s a rare but very serious complication in children that’s associated with COVID-19,” Arredondo said. “And as the name implies unfortunately there’s a lot of different systems in the body that can be infected.”

MIS-C can affect children between the ages of one and 21, but Arredondo said the most common age is around nine years old. 

There have been no cases of MIS-C reported in Portage County, but there have been a number of cases reported in Summit County.

Rachel Gross is a TV2 reporter. Contact her at [email protected]