As COVID-19 cases, vaccines slow, Husted says changes could be coming to health orders


COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio’s vaccination rate has been steadily going down at the same time as Ohio’s coronavirus case numbers are also declining.

“It is slowing,” Lt. Governor Jon Husted said Monday. “We expected that to happen. It should not be a surprise.”

According to the Ohio Department of Health, this week, many providers waved their shipment of the vaccine because they were already stocked. The state also contributed 120,000 doses of the vaccine to the federal vaccine pool that can be used by other states.

Husted said there is a group that will not get the vaccine, but there are still plenty of Ohioans who may just need it to be convenient.

“I want to highlight the people who are trying to make it easier, trying to knockdown those barriers,” he said. “We’re going to get there. It’s just the quicker we get there, the better off we’ll all be.”

Husted stopped by a vaccination clinic setup at White Castle’s corporate office Monday. The company said it wanted to do its part in making the vaccine accessible to employees and the community.

“We want to make sure that as many people that want vaccinated can get vaccinated,” said Erin Shannon, corporate relations manager at White Castle.

One thing that may ramp up Ohio’s vaccination efforts is the possibility of the Pfizer vaccine being approved for those 12-years-old and older. In anticipation of the decision, Ohio has requested the federal government add nearly 140,000 doses of Pfizer to the state’s stockpile.

“I think with the 12 to 16 year olds coming on board, that’s going to be another bump as we go into next school year,” said OhioHealth Dr. David Lee.

Despite slowing vaccination rates, Ohio recorded the lowest number of new coronavirus cases since September on Monday (713). Husted said change could soon be coming to Ohio’s health orders, including the state’s mask mandate.

“Every day, we get new information, we make new decisions based on that information and I can tell you internally we are having those discussions every day,” he said. “Getting rid of these masks that people don’t like wearing is a great incentive and that’s something that’s under consideration and I would expect that you’re going to hear some news about that in the near future.”

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