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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.

Cranley Asks DeWine To Remove Age Limit For Vaccine Eligibility

coronavirus vaccine
Hans Pennink

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley is asking Gov. Mike DeWine to remove age requirements for COVID-19 vaccine eligibility. Cranley sent DeWine a letter Wednesday with the request.

Cranley's letter says the state should follow guidance from the CDC that says prioritizing by age is unfair to minority populations with shorter life expectancies and higher risk of dying from COVID-19 at younger ages.

Cranley also wants 911 operators, grocery store employees, and restaurant workers added to Phase 1C.

Ohio opened up Phase 1C Thursday. It includes law enforcement, childcare workers, and people who are pregnant or have certain health conditions. Phase 2, which lowers the age requirement to 60, also began Thursday.

Read Cranley's full letter below:

Dear Governor DeWine,

I am writing to respectfully request that you remove age requirements dictating vaccine eligibility and that you also make 911 operators, grocery store employees and restaurant workers eligible in phase 1c.

Yesterday, the CDC announced that to prioritize by age is inherently unfair to minorities because they have a shorter life expectancy and are at a higher risk of dying from COVID-19 at younger ages. To ensure the health and safety of these vulnerable communities and increase equity among those being vaccinated, this science should be followed in the prioritization process.

I am extremely grateful for first responders, grocery employees, restaurant workers and so many others who have stepped up to keep our families fed and our city safe during this crisis. They are undoubtedly heroes. These employees have been on the front lines of the pandemic, providing a vital service to our community at a time when many had the ability to work from the safety of their homes. It is also true that essential workers who did not report to work during the pandemic have been vaccinated. Employees who work in our emergency communications center take hundreds of calls each day from people experiencing health and safety emergencies. If even one person gets COVID-19, it severely impacts our ability to serve a city of more than 300,000. Grocery employees and restaurant workers can be exposed to hundreds of people a day.

All of these people are providing vital services and they should be vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Thank you for your consideration.


John Cranley, Mayor

City of Cincinnati

Local Government Reporter with a particular focus on Cincinnati; experienced journalist in public radio and television throughout the Midwest. Enthusiastic about: civic engagement, public libraries, and urban planning.