The Ravenna Health Department has shut down its immunization clinic.
The decision, which is effective today, was made because the city's board of health found it difficult to justify the duplication of services, Health Commissioner Joseph Fisher said.
"It was just hard to justify the extra expense on the backs of city residents," he said.
Fisher said the Portage County Health Department already provides immunizations to Portage County residents, including those who live in Ravenna. The Ohio Department of Health has made changes to immunization regulations for the new year, he added, and is encouraging the centralization of services where it can. He said that encouraged the move, since both departments are in the city limits and residents are often confused about where they should go for immunizations.
"Portage County does a great job of it," he said. "It just makes it easier for patients and their families to know, 'Where do I go to get my shots.' It just made sense to do this now."
Sue Mischka, the Ravenna Health Department's nurse, will remain on staff overseeing the HIV testing program, blood tests, animal bites and other emergencies.
He said no other cuts are expected to the health department for the year ahead.
"We remain committed to providing health services and protection to our residents, but we can no longer effectively provide immunizations," he stated.
The county provides childhood immunizations every Wednesday, from 8 a.m. to noon at 449 S. Meridian St., Ravenna. The nursing clinic is located on the first floor of the county administration building, next to WIC. The clinic is walk-in with no appointment necessary.
Adult immunizations are available by appointment only, and residents should call the county department at 330-298-4490 to schedule an appointment.
Contact this reporter at 330-298-1139