COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine provided several updates related to distribution of the coronavirus vaccine on Thursday, when the state surged past 800,000 total cases.
As of Jan. 14, a total of 807,293 (+7,654) cases have been reported in Ohio since the pandemic began, leading to 9,990 (+109) deaths and 42,491 (+340) hospitalizations. DeWine said that 361,000 people in the state have received at least the first dose of one of the two-step vaccines from manufacturers Pfizer and Moderna.
DeWine said the state will launch an online site Friday that will show all 750 vaccine distribution sites that will be open starting next week, when the state will begin the next phase of its vaccination program, making it available to residents 80 and older. The page will be accessible at coronavirus.ohio.gov.
Although there are 425,000 Ohioans who are 80 and older, DeWine said the state expects to receive only about 100,000 doses for distribution next week. The state plans to expand the vaccine offering to those 75 and older the following week, then those 70 and older on Feb. 1, and and those 65 and older on Feb. 8. That may lead to adjustments in the vaccine plan as the weeks go on.
“We will have to take it literally one week at a time,” DeWine said.
DeWine said that over time vaccine production should increase, and additional manufacturers may receive approval for their vaccines, leading to increased availability in the state and distribution at more and larger facilities.
DeWine said the state is offering the vaccine to those 65 and older in the next phase because they have accounted for 87% of the deaths from COVID-19. Also in the next phase are those with certain medical disorders and those who work for school districts.
Local health departments around the state have begun announcing, or will soon announce, details of how to register to receive a vaccine and where they will be able to receive it. Those include departments in Franklin, Delaware, Pickaway and Union counties in central Ohio.