Ohio border county officials say Pennsylvanians need to wait before crossing to get vaccine

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio — As soon as Ohio changed its vaccine eligibility requirements, many in Pennsylvania immediately started looking west to where they might be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We have definitely seen an increase in applications and interest from people from Pennsylvania,” said Andrew Henry with the Jefferson County Health Department.

In Ohio, the vaccine is eligible to those 40 and older as well as those suffering from cancer, heart disease, and obesity. Earlier this month, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced it would be available to anyone over the age of 16 by month’s end. Since then, the Jefferson County Health Department has seen countless vaccine applications.

“Quite frankly, they may feel they can’t get it in Pennsylvania,” Henry said.

Henry believes many in Pennsylvania are getting antsy waiting for the state to move out of Phase 1A. He said if you’re thinking of crossing the border, you’ll still have to wait.

“We just have a duty as a county agency to vaccinate our residents first,” he said. “Most likely by the middle of April we will have excess capacity in our vaccine clinics to start vaccinating people from other states.”

There is an exception though: If you live in Pennsylvania and work in Ohio, you can get the vaccine in Ohio.