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Switch to Federal Funding Narrows Free-For-All Vaccinations in Oxford

A line of people in Oxford, Ohio, wraps around the parking lot of a vaccination site located at Talawanda Middle School on March 17. Before the vaccine provider, Primary Health Solutions, restricted its vaccine rollout to its underserved patients, people of varying age and health were showing up to the site without an appointment.
Jake Ruffer
/
The Miami Student
A line of people in Oxford, Ohio, wraps around the parking lot of a vaccination site located at Talawanda Middle School on March 17. Before the vaccine provider, Primary Health Solutions, restricted its vaccine rollout to its underserved patients, people of varying age and health were showing up to the site without an appointment.

For over a month, people in Oxford, Ohio, regardless of their age or health, had been lining up outside Talawanda Middle School in hopes of receiving a spare COVID-19 vaccine. Primary Health Solutions, the vaccine provider at the location, is now limiting its vaccine rollout to its own underserved patients instead of providing them to anyone who shows up without an appointment.

Oxford City Manager Jessica Greene says the city had been registering a small number of people to receive vaccinations from Primary Health. A few weeks ago, Primary Health asked Greene to tell the Oxford community to stop showing up unannounced.

“And then in that partnership, they said to me, like, ‘Ah, we’ve got to stop having people to stop just showing up. If you could do anything to help us get that message out,’” Greene said.

Ronda Croucher, Primary Health’s Vice President of Community Engagement, says Primary Health is now limiting its vaccines to its own patients.

“For us, we have over 35,000 patients. The majority of them live at or below the poverty line, so that will become our focus,” Croucher said.

The change comes after Primary Health started receiving federal funding instead of state funding for vaccinations.

State funding for vaccine rollout is community-based and doesn’t prioritize marginalized communities. Federal funding under the latest COVID-19 relief bill prioritizes people living under or at the poverty line.

Primary Health said they are still working on being fully compliant with federal requirements.