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Ohio Begins Phase 1B for COVID-19 Vaccinations

Wexner Medical Center worker getting vaccine
Wexner Medical Center, Ohio State University
Wexner Medical Center, Ohio State University
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 vaccinating people 80-years-old and up as part of the next phase of the immunization rollout. But a scarcity of the vaccine and distribution errors are causing challenges in Ohio.

Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) says the state will be evaluating accessibility issues for people over 80 who are running into problems, such as signing up for the shot or getting to the vaccination site.  

"The tug and pull is, we urgently want to get it out, but at the same time we want to make it as convenient as we can. And we want to make sure we're not missing any people who cannot access the system," DeWine said. 

The Group 1B rollout will be delayed for more than 150 providers whose shipments will not arrive as scheduled. That shipment is set to arrive a day later than expected with many providers not warned ahead of time.

DeWine announced a change to the distribution of the vaccine for people with certain health conditions expecting to be eligible Jan. 25. Now, the vaccine will only be available to people with severe congenital, developmental, or early-onset medical disorders who also have a "developmental or intellectual disability."

On Feb. 15, the eligibility will open up to everyone with severe congenital, developmental, or early-onset medical disorders.

DeWine says the state is not expecting to see an increase in vaccines it gets until March, when the Johnson and Johnson vaccine may be available. 
Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Andy Chow
Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.