Vaccines will be available to Ohioans ages 80 years and older beginning Tuesday, Jan. 19. About 800 providers across the state have been selected to be part of the first week of distribution.
At a coronavirus briefing, Gov. Mike DeWine said the state has asked local health departments and emergency management agencies to hold press conferences Wednesday and Thursday with information on locations where residents ages 80 and older can get vaccinated.
In order to begin vaccinating the public next week, DeWine announced that hospitals must finish vaccinating their personnel by midnight on Sunday, Jan. 17.
“We really need to move and we need to move to this age group,” he said.
About 100,000 vaccinations will be available next week. Not all Ohioans ages 80 years and older, a population of about 420,000, will be able to get vaccinated in the first week. The state plans to begin vaccinating Ohioans 75 and older on January 25, 70 and older on February 1, and 65 and older on February 8 as part of its group 1B distribution plan.
People in each age group will continue to be eligible for vaccination after the first week of availability. More information on vaccination for those with severe, congenital, developmental, or early-onset medical disorders will be available in the coming days, DeWine said.
As of Tuesday, DeWine said 321,516 Ohioans have been vaccinated, less than three percent of the state’s population. The state of Ohio has reported 792,938 cumulative COVID-19 cases and 9,802 deaths to date.
DeWine announced that about 350,000 vaccine doses that were held back by the federal government will now be made available to the state of Ohio as a result of changes made by the Trump administration.
“We don't know the details. We don't know exactly when that is going to start, but that is good,” he said. “That will mean we will have the ability to not have to have these held back, but put them out into people's arms and start their protection.”
Gov. Mike DeWine also signed an order activating 580 members of the Ohio National Guard to be available for use in Washington D.C. and Ohio. Roughly 200 Ohio National Guard members will go to Washington D.C., according to DeWine. This follows the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, and a warning from the FBI of plans for armed protests in the days leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. DeWine said the goal of the order is peace, and to protect people and property.
“People have every right to protest. They have every right to do it peacefully,” he said. “We also saw what happened at the U.S. Capitol, and we're very concerned.”
Gov. Mike DeWine said the state is fully prepared to activate more members of the National Guard if needed.
“This is a disturbing thing. We have people who, for whatever reason, want to commit violence. And we cannot allow that and we're not going to allow that.”