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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.

Local Vaccine Supply Starting To Match Vaccine Demand

Bill Rinehart
The Cintas Center opened as a mass vaccination center in Hamilton County in March.

When Ohio opened up COVID vaccinations to the general public in March, it was difficult to get an appointment. This weekend, some vaccine providers and clinics in Hamilton County still have openings. Kate Schroder with the Health Collaborative says it's not because of vaccine hesitancy.

"I anticipate that will be a growing problem in the coming weeks. We still have demand in this area," Schroder says. "For me it's a little be less of hesitancy than it is vaccine laziness."

She says they're trying to make getting an appointment as easy as possible. This weekend, April 24 and 25, and the second and fourth weekends in May are enhanced efforts, including free transportation to vaccination sites.

Schroder is the special advisor for vaccine coordination at the Health Collaborative, and says about 35% of Hamilton County residents have received at least one dose.

She says ready availability is a sign the next phase of vaccination has started after weeks where demand outstripped supply. "We are right at the point I think where we are starting to have enough supply to meet the demand here. We are still filling up appointments but as you're seeing it takes time. The challenging part is we need to make sure the people who want appointments know where to go to get them."

Schroder says the Test and Protect website is one way to find an vaccine provider. There's also the ArmorVax app, and appointments are available by call 2-1-1.

Bill Rinehart started his radio career as a disc jockey in 1990. In 1994, he made the jump into journalism and has been reporting and delivering news on the radio ever since.