Governor DeWine outlines plan to distribute vaccine to older Ohioans

Coronavirus

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Gov. Mike DeWine explained details Tuesday about how the coronavirus vaccines will be made available to Ohioans 80 and older starting next week.

Since vaccines arrived in the state in December from drug manufacturers Pfizer and Moderna, one of the areas of focus has been residents of nursing homes, as 87% of the deaths from COVID-19 have come from those 65 and older. Beginning next week, the state will begin a phased rollout of making the vaccine available to Ohioans in that age range who do not live in nursing homes.

The state will begin with those 80 and older on Monday, then make the vaccine available to those 75 and older on Feb. 25, those 70 and older on March 1, and finally those 65 and older on March 8.

DeWine said the state has asked hospitals to complete vaccinating their front-line healthcare workers by Sunday so they can switch to vaccinating those 80 and older next week. And he said the state has asked 800 providers, out of a group of 1,900 that has registered, to participate in vaccinations next week.

The state is expected to receive 100,000 doses next week to begin vaccinating a group of those 80 and older that numbers about 420,000. DeWine said providers will more specific details later this week about how they will conduct their vaccination clinics, whether by appointment or by providing walk-in service. And the state will offer additional information online later this week, too.

DeWine said when the clinics will take place won’t be determined until this weekend. He said the state receives updates on vaccine shipments on Sundays, with the doses arriving on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. He said he expects the clinics to begin Tuesday.

DeWine also provided an update on vaccinating the state’s nursing homes. He said Ohio has over 900 nursing homes and that the first of three visits by providers has been completed to about 85% of them. 

During the first visit, the vaccine was offered to residents and staff, with DeWine saying about 80% of residents and 40% or staff choosing to receive it. Second visits have begun at some facilities, and DeWine said he is hearing anecdotally that more are choosing to be vaccinated. Each nursing home will receive a third visit to complete the two-step vaccinations for those who chose not to participate during the first visit.

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