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Ohio News

New Age Groups Soon Eligible For Vaccine, Though Inconsistent Supply Reported

Medical professionals at Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center were among the first in the state to get the COVID-19 vaccine last month.
Medical professionals at Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center were among the first in the state to get the COVID-19 vaccine last month.

The state is pushing forward with more COVID vaccinations with new age groups eligible in the next few weeks, even as some communities are saying the vaccine supply is inconsistent.

Gov. Mike DeWine said 800 pharmacies and other providers have been picked out of over 1,900 for the round of vaccinations that will start next week for people over 80. Ohioans can look up providers by zip code starting Thursday at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

“Each provider will handle their own scheduling," DeWine said. "It's important to note that the state site will only show what providers have been allocated vaccines. It will not update in real time. So providers may go through all the vaccine they have.”

The state expects 100,000 doses of vaccine next week. There are around 420,000 Ohioans who are over 80.

Shortages and issues have been reported in Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati.

Columbus has said it was close to running out of vaccine, and Hamilton County has said it doesn't have enough vaccine to finish the first group of people who qualify. In Cleveland, Mayor Frank Jackson has said both that more doses are needed and that the city has used only part of the doses that it's received so far.

But DeWine said the state will still offer the vaccine to Ohioans over 75 are eligible starting January 25. People over 70 are eligible after February 1, and those over 65 can get shots starting February 8.

Though the CDC has said the vaccine should be made available to anyone over 65, DeWine has given front line health care workers and nursing home residents and staff top priority. School employees will join the line next month, with the goal of getting kids back into in-person or hybrid learning by March 1.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau