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Ohioans: Don't Book COVID Vaccine Appointments In Neighboring States

Xavier University's Cintas Center is serving as a mass vaccination clinic.
Jason Whitman
Xavier University's Cintas Center is serving as a mass vaccination clinic.

As more people are eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine, some Ohioans are finding frustration after booking appointments in neighboring states only to be turned away at the door.

Christa Hyson, assistant director for emergency response and public information officer for The Health Collaborative, says if you live in Ohio, make sure to book your shot in Ohio.

"Even if a system lets you — as an Ohio resident — book an appointment in Kentucky, for example, when you show up in Kentucky, unfortunately, you will be declined," she says.

Residents in Kentucky and Indiana can get vaccinated in Ohio as long as they meet Ohio's eligibility, even if they're not eligible in their home states.

Hyson says the reason Ohioans can't cross state lines is because neighboring governors set different rules for eligibility.

"Gov. Beshear has set different mandates than Gov. DeWine," she explains. "That's why you've maybe heard or seen stories of Kentucky residents getting vaccinated in Ohio, but Ohio residents cannot get vaccinated in Kentucky."

The problem seems to stem from some online booking systems allowing people to make vaccine appointments in neighboring states. For example, people in Southwest Ohio and the Tri-State are finding Kroger's website will allow them to schedule across state lines even after entering Ohio as their home state.

WVXU reached out to Kroger for comment and is awaiting a response.

There is a caveat: If you work in health care in Kentucky but live in Ohio, you can get the jab in Kentucky. Hyson says most people who were eligible in that way were offered the vaccine through their employers.

Indiana initially allowed people who lived elsewhere but worked in the Hoosier State to get the vaccine there. However, Christine Stinson, executive director of the Wayne County Health Department, says that rule changedseveral weeks ago.

Gov. Eric Holcomb earlier this week noted Indiana is getting fewer vaccine doses than other states since allocations are based on population. He's expected to offer more details on the state's rollout timeline in an address March 23.

Copyright 2021 91.7 WVXU. To see more, visit 91.7 WVXU.

Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Most recently, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She served on the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters Board of Directors from 2007 - 2009.