DeWine Shares Timeline For COVID Vaccine Delivery In Ohio

[Pixabay]

Updated: 4:36 p.m., Friday, Dec. 4, 2020

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

Ohio will receive a confirmed first round of shipments of 299,475 doses of vaccine beginning with another 359,000 doses tentatively scheduled to arrive days later, DeWines said Friday.

"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."

DeWine said while the decisions about vaccine priorities are difficult, Friday is a happy day.

“It’s good news and I think we should remember there’s a lot of hope out there right now,” DeWine said. “It’s coming. We’ve just got to stay tough for the next few months.”

Even with the vaccine shipment news providing a light at the end of what has already been a long tunnel, the governor outlined the vaccination plan at the same time he announced the state’s 10,114 new COVID-19 cases and 129 new deaths, both the third-highest daily totals of the pandemic.

Who Will Get Vaccinated 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:

  • Healthcare workers and personnel who are involved with the care of COVID-19 patients;
  • EMS responders; and
  • "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-BioNTech and Moderna are tentative and "subject to change subject to shipment," DeWine said.

On Dec. 15, Pfizer will send 9,750 to hospitals and 88,725 to Walgreens and CVS to go to congregant care settings for the “vulnerable” Ohioans and their caregivers.

On Dec. 22, Pfizer will ship another 123,000 vaccines to hospitals and pharmacies. Also on that date, Moderna will ship 201,000 to 98 hospitals and 108 health departments to vaccinate EMS personnel.

In late December, on a date yet to be determined, Pfizer will send another 148,000 doses and another 89,000 doses are expected to be delivered from Moderna.

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.

Discussions on when prisoners and corrections officers may receive the vaccine are also underway, the governor said, but he did not have details on Friday.

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 OhioHealth, joined the press 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, Gastaldo said.

The process for the new vaccines has been exactly the same as all others, he said, but the speed is due in part to the prioritization of a COVID-19 vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine will be reviewed twice by separate groups of independent, non-government physicians.

“Both review meetings at the FDA and CDC are open to the public,” Gastaldo said “In addition, at the CDC meeting, major medical societies will have representation at the table for review and discussion of the data.

When the governor was asked if he would get vaccinated 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."

ideastream's Glenn Forbes and Gayle S. Putrich contributed to this report.

Copyright 2020 91.7 WVXU. To see more, visit 91.7 WVXU.

 

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