COVID Vaccines 'Continue To Be A Challenge' In Hamilton County
COVID-19 vaccines continue to be a challenge in Hamilton County.
This week, Hamilton County received roughly 11,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses. Next week, the county is expecting 9,000. This comes as more people are becoming eligible to receive the vaccine under the state's vaccination plan.
Local officials are pointing to decisions made at the state level for the fluctuation. During Wednesday's COVID-19 briefing, Health Commissioner Greg Kesterman said Governor Mike DeWine's priorities for vaccines change each week, such as focusing on schools next week.
"It does add complexity to our planning, but what I have continued to message and proud of my team (for) is we are set up, we are ready, and the moment we get doses, we're able to work with our community to make sure that those that need (to be) vaccinated are able to get vaccinated,” Kesterman said.
Commissioner Denise Driehaus said as eligibility for vaccines increase, the number of doses isn't remaining constant.
"We got a question not too long ago about, 'Well, you know, if we're always going to see at least the same if not more doses week-to-week, why can't we do more?' We're getting less doses next week than we have this week," Driehaus said. "Again, this is out of our control."
Starting next week, Ohioans above the age of 70 and staff members at schools will be eligible to receive the vaccine. Currently, Ohioans age 75 or older or people with severe congenital or development disorders are eligible.
As the pandemic continues, COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Hamilton County. However, hospitalizations are continuing to decline in the region's hospitals.Kesterman said the hospitals are seeing around two or three admissions per day.
"When you look at our regional hospitalizations overall, for a long time we were at 750 patients in our hospitals or more," Kesterman said. "This number I'm reporting this morning is 570 patients, so a nice decline. We're not yet where we want to be, but we will happily accept those numbers coming down."
At least 86 new hospitalizations were reported within the last week.
To date, more than 2,000 people have been hospitalized in Hamilton County during the pandemic. More than 65,000 positive cases have been reported. More than 450 people have died.