Frontline workers in prisons ‘worthy’ but nursing homes first, says DeWine on COVID-19 vaccine

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Frontline workers in prisons are risking their lives every single day, but the high levels of deaths in nursing homes and congregate living settings mean those people will get first COVID-19 vaccines.

Governor Mike DeWine said he’d discussed today with his team the situation in the prisons, and said those workers “are really risking their lives every single day, and we need to be able to take care of them.”

But national authorities and scientific experts say that people in nursing homes and congregate living are dying the most, according to Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, Chief Medical Officer, Ohio Department of Health.

“We have a new vaccine that we are all very excited about and it’s understandably available in limited initial supply,” Dr. Vanderhoff said in a COVID-19 briefing.

“An attempt to prioritize among many groups in our society all of whom are worthy of receiving this vaccine on the basis of graded risk. Congregate living, which includes our nursing home population, is where we are seeing among the highest mortality. There is a very good reason that was prioritized at the top of the list.

“There are many many others that we want to get this vaccine to as quickly as possible, and we will get it to them as quickly as possible,” he said.

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