OSU to expand COVID-19 vaccine to students, staff this week


COLUMBUS (WCMH) – The state’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout plans are expanding again this week.

Starting Monday, medical providers have some more option when it comes to who they can administer the shots.

Essentially, what this means is more vaccine is being made available specifically for Ohio’s college-aged community.

“Now that there’s, like, more vaccines and people are able to get it more accessible, I think it’s good students are getting them now,” said Ohio State University student Hamzah Chaudhry.

Students have been eligible since the state opened up the vaccine to people 16 years and older, but starting this week, the Wexner Medical Center will be allocating more of its first dose supply for university students, faculty, and staff.

The medical center is doing this to follow the state’s vaccine distribution plans.

Gov. Mike DeWine announced that starting this week, there can be workplace vaccination clinics.

The state is also allowing vaccine providers to dedicate up to 25 percent of their supply to their employees or to partner with other businesses and employers.

According to the Ohio State University vaccine information page, a portion of appointments at the mass vaccination clinic at the Schottenstein Center will be specifically for students, faculty, or staff.

“I think that’s a huge deal,” said Ohio State University student Ben Reimer. “I think, hopefully, it’ll encourage a lot of people to get their vaccines in a hurry while, especially people who live in dorms, while it’s still convenient before they leave for the summer.”

Reimer knows the importance of being vaccinated — he nearly lost a family member to COVID-19.

“She’s made a miraculous recovery,” he said. “It was really scary there for a while. We basically said good-bye to her over Facetime, which wasn’t easy, but a lot of people actually had to say good-bye.”

In November, Reimer’s mother was hospitalized with COVID-19 and was almost put on a ventilator before she started getting better. She’s part of the reason he got the vaccine as soon as he could.

“It was very sad for us,” he said. “It’s stuff you hear about happening to other people, but when it hits so close to home, it really, really makes a difference. So getting a vaccine wasn’t even a question for us just avoid it happening to another family member or somebody else we don’t even know.”

Part of the stated goal with opening slots for students is to ensure they are fully vaccinated before returning home at the end of the semester.

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