Gov. DeWine says 2nd phase of vaccinations could begin next month, schools key component

Gov. DeWine says 2nd phase of vaccinations could begin next month, schools key component

Gov. Mike DeWine announced the state’s plans for the rollout of the second phase of vaccinations for COVID-19, which he expects to begin around mid-January.

The following announcements were made during today’s news conference:

  • Gov. DeWine said it will be months before everyone in the state will be able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, but said both Moderna and Pfizer should be sending a steady stream of the vaccines to the state. The Governor hopes other distributors also come online soon.
  • DeWine said he expects it will take weeks to complete the vaccinations that are part of Phase 1, which includes frontline healthcare workers, EMS and those living and working in congregate care settings.
  • DeWine said those 65 and older will be in the next group to be vaccinated. “This is the most at-risk group,” DeWine said. He said 87 percent of the deaths due to COVID-19 in the state fall in this age group. This age group represents 1.8 million people in the state.
  • The second cluster of people included in the next phase of vaccination in the state will be those that are under 65 years old that have severe inherited or development disorders that make them particularly vulnerable.
  • The third cluster of people included in the next phase of vaccination are all adults working at schools, including teachers, bus drivers, custodians and other adults who work in school buildings. The vaccines will not be mandated, DeWine said.
  • The second phase of vaccinations is being targeted to begin in mid-January.
  • The goal is to have all students who want to return to in-person learning by March 1. “We will offer vaccines to all schools that want to go back, or to remain, in person,” DeWine said. “All adults in the schools would have the ability to get a vaccine.”
  • Springfield fire and rescue were featured during today’s press conference. A firefighter/paramedic received the vaccine.
  • The region of the state that includes the majority of the Miami Valley has the lowest ICU utilization rate in the state, with 1 in 5 people in the ICU having COVID-19.
  • Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said Ohioans need to stay home as much as possible between the Christmas and New Year’s holidays to help avoid spreading COVID-19. He said the state cannot afford to see a spike.
  • Ohio is sending out 23 million Ohio-made masks to support Ohio’s workforce. This is in addition to the nearly 23 million they sent out in the summer and fall.