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Seneca County health, emergency officials stress importance, safety of COVID-19 vaccines

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Seneca County Health Commissioner Beth Schweitzer, MPH

Tiffin, Ohio — Seneca County Emergency Management Agency and Seneca County General Health District leaders are urging residents to focus on facts, not fear, concerning COVID-19 vaccines.

EMA Administrator John Spahr stressed that the most trusted voices people should listen to when it comes to COVID-19 information are medical experts, emergency room doctors and public health officials. “Seneca County is prepared to begin distributing safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines countywide,” he said. “We have two clear goals: to save lives and to slow the spread of the virus.”

Initially, Spahr said there will be a limited amount of vaccines available.

“Seneca County is committed to making the vaccine widely available for those who want to receive it, as quickly as possible once shipments arrive,” he said.

In the early stages of vaccine distribution, doses will be available in limited supply for specific critical populations as part of a phased approach. As supply increases, COVID-19 vaccines will be available to all county residents who choose to be vaccinated.

Spahr said the vaccine development process for COVID-19 included several steps comparable to those used in the development of other vaccines, such as the flu or measles vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration, as well as independent medical experts, have ensured that every detail of the vaccines is thoroughly and rigorously evaluated.

Spahr said the vaccine has been shown to decrease the severity of illness in people who catch this virus. “Having a signification portion of Ohioans vaccinated will help us prevent serious hospitalizations and death, and will allow a return to normal.”

Seneca County Health Commissioner Beth Schweitzer said the vaccine is an important piece of the puzzle in returning to some semblance of normalcy, but she urged residents to stay vigilant in stopping the spread of the virus.

“Using all the tools available to help prevent the spread of the virus continues to be critical until a substantial number of Ohioans can be vaccinated,” she said. “Continuing to wear masks and social distance will reduce your chance of being exposed to or spreading the virus. Proper prevention measures coupled with the vaccine will provide the best protection from COVID-19.”

Schweitzer said the COVID-19 vaccines can save lives. As of Dec. 13, 7,400 Ohioans and more than 298,000 people in the U.S. Have died from the disease.

Spahr and Schweitzer also encouraged residents to get a flu vaccination.

“While getting your flu vaccination won’t protect you from COVID-19, it is highly recommended that you get your flu shot, as you can have seasonal flu and COVID-19 at the same time,” Schweitzer said.

The Seneca County General Health District and Seneca County EMA will update the public with new information regarding COVID-19 vaccinations using the Wireless Emergency Notification System (WENS) as well as social media and local news outlets.

You can sign up for vaccine notifications on WENS by clicking the WENS button on the Seneca County EMA website, senecacountyEMA.org, or on the county EMA Facebook page.


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