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As a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) swept through the world in 2020, preparedness plans, masking policies and more public policy changed just as quickly. WVXU has covered the pandemic's impact on the Tri-State from the very beginning, when on March 3, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine barred spectators from attending the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus over concerns about the virus, even though Ohio had yet to confirm a single case of COVID-19.

Hamilton Co. Wants To Ramp Up Vaccine Distribution, Still Hampered By Low Supply

coronavirus vaccine
Hans Pennink

Hamilton County officials say they hope President Joe Biden's federal plan will speed up COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Commissioner Denise Driehaus says the county is getting about 8,000 doses of vaccine a week, but the vast majority go to local hospital systems.

"Only a thousand have been split between the county and the city public health," Driehaus said. "We are trying to distribute that and make it as accessible as possible, but we're only doing 500 doses."

Ohio residents age 75 and older are now eligible to get vaccinated, along with several other priority groups.

About 44,000 Hamilton County residents have gotten at least the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the state health department. That's 5.36% of the county population.

Nick Crossley is director of the county's Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency. He says the vaccine distribution plan will include partnering with private sector pharmacies.  

"So you got CVS on every corner, you got a Walgreens on every corner, and the vaccine - especially if you don’t have insurance - is paid for by the federal government."

A map of providers who can currently administer the vaccine to anyone eligible is available at vaccine.coronavirus.ohio.gov. Ohioans who have difficulty getting online can dial 2-1-1 for help.