Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) says the state will release a plan in the coming days to explain how the COVID-19 vaccine will be distributed to a wider group of people. The eligibility parameters for Group 1B includes people over 65, those with serious health conditions, or who work at a K-12 school.
DeWine says the state’s goal is to line people up to get the vaccine, using local health departments, primary care physicians, and fairgrounds.
"What I can say is in the next few days, we will make it very clear where people will be able to get a vaccine. So we're pushing this forward. We're telling people where we're going to be in two weeks. We're going to tell them where we're going to be in three weeks, where we're going to be in four weeks," DeWine says.
The state only finds out how much of the vaccine it will receive a week in advance. Next week it will get about 100,000 doses, which will start going to the 2 million Ohioans in the next eligibility group.
Critics of DeWine say the state's distribution infrastructure is failing to effectively get the vaccine out.
As of Tuesday, the state's vaccine dashboard says 175,408 people have received their first vaccine shot. The state has received more than 529,000 doses.
DeWine says the state is also creating a Vaccine Redistribution Plan to address a problem at a long-term care facility that overestimated how much of the vaccine it would need. That facility, which was not identified, let 35 doses of the vaccine expire.
More than 60% of Ohio's nursing homes have been able to distribute the vaccine, however, the number of staff getting immunized remains around 40%. DeWine says the residents are taking the vaccine at a rate of about 75%.
The Ohio Department of Aging says it is holding informational meetings to encourage nursing home staff to get the shot.