COVID-19 Vaccine

Get the Facts About COVID-19 Vaccines

Pre-register for Phase 1B COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccines that may prevent COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, are an important step toward stemming the worldwide pandemic. Find out about the authorized vaccines, how they work, possible side effects, the benefits of being vaccinated and the information we have about how the general public will get vaccinated.

University Hospitals and the COVID-19 Vaccine

University Hospitals is working to obtain as many doses of available vaccine as possible, and we are committed to providing vaccinations to our employees and patients in accordance with guidance from the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). UH has the equipment and expertise necessary to store, distribute and administer COVID-19 vaccines.

Right now, the supply of COVID-19 vaccine in the United States is extremely limited. As a result, the vaccine initially will be reserved for those who need it most. Under the ODH and CDC recommendations, health care personnel and residents of long-term care facilities were the first to receive COVID-19 vaccines, as they are at the highest risk for exposure to the infection.


What Vaccines Are Available?

The vaccines currently authorized for use are messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. They are administered in two doses, three to four weeks apart.

This is a relatively new type of vaccine. The vaccines use genetic material called mRNA to teach the body’s immune system to fight the coronavirus. The mRNA in the vaccine activates the body’s immune system but does not change the body’s DNA.

Both of the vaccines have been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after examination of large clinical trials involving nearly 40,000 participants, determining that these vaccines may be effective in preventing COVID-19. The vaccines are still being studied in clinical trials. There is no currently approved COVID-19 vaccine.

Vaccinating the General Public

Many people understandably want to know when they can receive the vaccine. University Hospitals is closely following the recommendations of ODH, which has, in conjunction with the CDC and others, identified in what order people may be vaccinated.

We are committed to vaccinating our patients as quickly as possible. We have made preparations to receive and administer the vaccine to our patients and, as soon as supply becomes available, we will do so in coordination with the Ohio Department of Public Health.

Hospitals have not been given exact timing as to when vaccine for the general public will be available. However, as the information is provided to us, we will quickly share the details of how you can get a vaccine from UH on this page.

Phase 1A is the first wave of people designated by ODH to receive the vaccine. They include:

  • Health care workers and personnel who are routinely involved in the care of COVID-19 patients
  • Residents and staff in nursing homes
  • Residents and staff in assisted living facilities
  • Patients and staff at state psychiatric hospitals
  • People with developmental disabilities and those with mental health disorders, including substance use disorders, who live in group homes, residential facilities or centers and staff at those locations
  • Residents and staff at two state-run homes for Ohio veterans
  • Emergency medical service responders

People in the next wave, called Phase 1B, are expected to be able to receive the vaccine beginning Tuesday, January 19, 2021, according to ODH. New groups of people will become eligible to receive the vaccine each week. The people in this group are:

  • People age 80 and older (week of Jan. 19)
  • People age 75 and older; People with severe congenital, developmental or early-onset medical disorders and solid organ transplant patients (week of Jan. 25)
  • People age 70 and older; Employees of K-12 schools who wish to remain or return to in-person or hybrid models (week of Feb. 1)
  • People age 65 and older (week of Feb. 8)

Beyond these groups, ODH’s vaccine distribution plan is still under development.

COVID vaccination prioritization, processes and policies vary by state, and the distribution process is mandated by the state and local health authorities. This is why there are stark differences between how the vaccine is distributed in Florida, for example, versus other states.

In Ohio, quantities, location and timing of future vaccine shipments are currently unknown, and these logistical details may remain fluid for several months.

In the meantime, we are unable accommodate those who come to UH facilities seeking COVID-19 vaccination.

As more information becomes available to us about who can receive the vaccine and when, we will share that information on this page and through direct communication with our patients.

How To Get Vaccinated at University Hospitals

If you are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, please fill out our secure pre-registration form.

After you pre-register, we will contact you via text or email so you can schedule an appointment for your COVID-19 vaccination based on the schedule detailed by Gov. DeWine and vaccine availability.

When you arrive at the vaccination clinic, you will be asked to fill out and sign a consent form. After receiving the vaccine, you will need to stay for 15 minutes for observation, and then will receive a card stating you have received the COVID-19 vaccine.

Please know you must have a scheduled appointment with us to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. We are unable at this time to vaccinate people on a drop-in basis.

For Ashtabula County Residents

If you live in the 44030 zip code

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UH is collaborating with the Conneaut City Health Department to administer COVID-19 vaccines to Conneaut residents. To schedule: Call the Conneaut Health Department at 440-593-3087 or register on the city website.
Location: Station 3 Fire Department, 392 Middle Road, Conneaut, OH 44030

Residents of the remainder of Ashtabula County

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We have not been given information on vaccine availability for the rest of Ashtabula County, but below is information on how to sign up:

Ashtabula County Health Department – Call to register: 440-576-3023
Ashtabula City Health Department – COVID 19 Vaccination Hotline: 440-992-7188

COVID-19 Vaccine Safety

Clinical leaders at University Hospitals believe that these vaccines, which were thoroughly vetted by the FDA, are recommended for the protection of each individual and the community against COVID-19.

The COVID-19 vaccines were studied in clinical trials for safety and efficacy according to rigorous standards set by the FDA before being made available for public use. Study protocols and results are available to the public to ensure transparency.

The mRNA vaccines are faster to manufacture than other technologies, and so were quicker to be tested in large trials and then mass-produced.

What You Need To Know About the COVID-19 Vaccines

Should I Still Get Vaccinated If…

I’m Pregnant or Breastfeeding?

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Pregnant and breastfeeding women may receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Please discuss the risks and benefits of receiving the vaccine with your health care provider. Learn more about pregnancy, breastfeeding and the COVID-19 vaccine.

I’m Immunocompromised?

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People who are immunocompromised are not excluded from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Please consult your health care provider if you have questions about whether you should receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

I’m Allergic to Vaccine Components?

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According to the Pfizer BioNTech EUA Fact Sheet or the Moderna EUA Fact Sheet both vaccines are contraindicated in people who are severely allergic (anaphylactic) to any vaccine components. Please consult your health care provider if you have questions about whether you should receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

I’m Younger Than Age 16?

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The vaccine has not been approved for children. Pfizer BioNTech vaccine is authorized for people age 16 and older. The Moderna vaccine is authorized for use in people age 18 and older.

I’ve Already Had COVID?

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COVID-19 vaccine is available to those who were previously diagnosed with the virus. If you have tested positive within the last 90 days, you may need to wait to receive the vaccine. Please discuss whether you should have the vaccine with your health care provider.