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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.

DeWine Shares Timeline For COVID Vaccine Delivery In Ohio


Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Friday detailed when and how many COVID-19 vaccines the state will receive, as well as the groups who will initially receive these first shipments, which are slated to begin Dec. 15.

"This is a work in progress," DeWine emphasized. "The main objectives are: save lives – to cover the most vulnerable as quickly as we can; second, slow the spread of the virus; and third, make sure our health care workers are safe."

Who Will Get Vaccines First

DeWine said Phase 1 will begin "around" Dec. 15, with the following people prioritized, which he made sure to say are listed in no particular order:

  • Health care workers and personnel who are involved with the care of COVID-19 patients
  • EMS responders
  • "Vulnerable" people who live together and those who care for them, such as residents and staff at nursing homes, assisted living facilities, psychiatric hospitals, people with mental illness in group homes and homes for Ohio veterans

Vaccine Delivery Schedule

The number of vaccines from both Pfizer and Moderna are tentative and "subject to change subject to shipment," DeWine said. That includes:

On Dec. 15:

  • Pfizer will send 9,750 to hospitals and 88,725 to Walgreens and CVS to go to congregant care settings as outlined above

On Dec. 22:

  • Pfizer will ship another 123,000 vaccines to hospitals and pharmacies
  • Moderna will ship 201,900 to 98 hospitals and 108 health departments to vaccinate EMS personnel

TBD in late December:

  • Pfizer will send another 148,000 does and Moderna another 89,000

DeWine said those who received the first dose of the vaccine should receive the second dose by mid-January. He did not know when the vaccine would be made available to the general public.
Addressing The Skeptics

Seemingly anticipating questions about the speed in which these vaccines have been tested and rolled out, Dr. Joseph Gastaldo, system medical director of infectious diseases at Ohio Health, joined the conference to talk about how these vaccines are being tested.

Calling the vaccines "a first major step to getting back to a pre-COVID way of life," he said both trials prioritized safety and were conducted the same way as previous vaccines, "just more efficient" without compromising safety, he said.

When asked if he would take the vaccine on camera – as former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton have agreed to do – DeWine answered at least part of the question unequivocally. 

"I will take it, absolutely, as soon as I can take it," he said. "I'm anxious to take it."

On Friday, DeWine shared the latest numbers on coronavirus in the state: 392 hospital admissions; 129 deaths; and 10,114 new cases, the state's highest number in over a week and fourth highest ever. 

Jennifer Merritt brings 20 years of "tra-digital" journalism experience to WVXU.