COLUMBUS, Ohio — Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted provided the following updates this week on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gov. DeWine on Tuesday outlined steps that Ohio has taken and will take to address inequities in healthcare as they relate to vaccine accessibility.
“There are Ohioans who simply do not have equal access to healthcare,” Gov. DeWine said. “We have worked hard to address these gaps, especially in our efforts to roll out the vaccine, but there is still more to do.”
Geography: Instead of offering the “mega vaccination sites” being seen in other states, Ohio’s vaccination plan focuses on ensuring that there are multiple vaccine providers in every county in the state. This week, more than 700 providers across Ohio are receiving the vaccine to help ensure that Ohioans have access to vaccine close to home.
Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs): These health centers serve highly vulnerable neighborhoods. Ohio’s vaccination plan offers vaccines at these facilities for equitable distribution. More than 60 of these centers are receiving vaccine this week.
Pop-up Vaccine Sites: Ohio is working with FQHCs, faith-based communities, and local health departments to pilot pop-up vaccination sites in at-risk communities. Two sites were hosted at an FQHC in Columbus last week and another pop-up vaccination site is scheduled this week in Cleveland.
Transportation: The Ohio Department of Health is working with the Ohio Department of Medicaid to provide transportation options for those who want to receive the vaccine but face transportation barriers.
Local Health Departments: Many local health departments are prioritizing underserved populations by partnering with organizations that work to serve African American, Hispanic and Latino, and other underserved populations to provide education and offer opportunities for vaccination when vaccine becomes available.
Education and Communication Strategies: In addition to newspaper, television, and radio advertisements focused on reaching underserved populations, Ohio will also launch a series of virtual town hall meetings to gain a better understanding of the barriers to vaccination and develop solutions.
The events will be coordinated in partnership with Ohio’s Minority Health Vaccine Advisory Group, whose mission is to help advise the Ohio Department of Health on how to best deliver the vaccine to underserved populations and better ensure equity. The townhalls will be live-streamed during the week of February 22. To learn how to participate in these events, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov.
Affordable Housing Vaccination Clinics: Next week, the Ohio Department of Aging, in partnership with key state and local organizations, will offer on-site vaccination clinics at affordable senior housing communities as part of its Regional Rapid Response Program. On-site clinics will be coordinated with support from the Ohio National Guard.
School Vaccination Update
Last week, the Ohio Department of Health released the schedule for school vaccinations for teachers and staff.
Preble County schools districts listed, including College Corner, Eaton, National Trail, Preble ESC, Preble Shawnee, Tri-County North and Twin Valley South, will be elligible to receive their vaccines during Week Three of the school vaccination rollout starting on Monday, Feb. 15.
Vaccination Status Update
Those currently eligible to receive vaccine in Ohio are:
Those 70 years of age and older.
Teachers and school personnel who are necessary for in-person learning in specified counties.
Individuals with severe congenital, early-onset, or inherited conditions and with developmental or intellectual disabilities.
Individuals with severe congenital, early-onset, or inherited conditions and developmental or intellectual disabilities should have been contacted by their local county board of developmental disabilities to schedule their vaccination. If you believe that you or a loved one falls into this category and hasn’t been contacted, please contact your county board of developmental disabilities.
Ohio is among the top five states for delivering COVID-19 vaccine doses to long-term care facility residents. As a result of this aggressive effort to vaccinate those in long-term care, Ohio is beginning to see a drop in cases.
Pfizer has notified Ohio that they believe they will increase their shipment of vaccine by 40 percent around mid-to-late February. Shipments could additionally increase even more by the end of March. Pfizer is currently shipping approximately 73,000 doses to Ohio per week.
Moderna doses have increased from 73,200 two weeks ago to 105,600 doses that are expected next week.
Ohio was one of the first states to draw unused doses from the long-term care program, and those 77,000 extra doses are being delivered this week to select CVS and Walgreens pharmacies.
Nursing/Assisted Living Facilities
Of Ohio’s 920 skilled nursing facilities, Ohio has administered first doses of vaccine in 100 percent of these facilities. The second dose has been given in 89 percent of facilities.
Of Ohio’s 645 assisted living facilities, Ohio has administered first doses in 86 percent of these facilities, and second doses have been administered in 48 percent of facilities.
Plans are in place to continue vaccinating in these facilities as new residents move in.
Long-Term Care Revaccinations
On Tuesday, Walgreens Pharmacy alerted the Ohio Department of Health that vaccines that had not been stored under the proper cold storage conditions were administered Monday to some residents in five long-term care facilities. Following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, residents who received these vaccines will be revaccinated.
The impacted facilities are:
Ashtabula County Residential Services Corp “The Maples” in Kingsville.
Ashtabula Towers in Ashtabula.
Heather Hill Care Communities in Chardon.
Six Chimneys in Cleveland.
Willow Park Convalescent Home in Cleveland.
Current Case Data
In total, there are 910,847 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 11,509 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 47,110 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 6,800 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov.