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Ohio Broadens COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility To Ages 50 And Up

Office of Gov. Mike DeWine
Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio)

Starting Thursday all Ohioans over 50 will be able to get the shot along with those who have Type 2 diabetes and end-stage renal disease.

Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) said local health departments asked him to broaden vaccine eligibility to account for the increase in supply coming to Ohio.  

"Some of the counties, frankly, were still having vaccine leftover at the end of the week," DeWine said.

DeWine said opening eligibility based on age and medical conditions is about immunizing people most at risk of death. 

"If everybody 50 and above were vaccinated you would knock out 98% of the deaths so making that available as quickly as we can is very, very important," said DeWine. 

The announcement means about 1.4 million more Ohioans will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Residents can go to the state’s one-stop vaccine website, but will still be directed to provider websites to schedule their shots.

Watch: Gov. Mike DeWine and Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff discuss latest CDC guidance for vaccinated people.

On Monday, the CDC issued guidance for people who are fully vaccinated and the recommendations they have for certain activities.

Those recommendations said people who are fully vaccinated can:

  • Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
  • Visit with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
  • Refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic

When asked if the state would create a different set of restrictions in Ohio for people who are fully vaccinated, DeWine said those CDC guidelines are based on activities done in private and not in public areas.
Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, Ohio Department of Health's chief medical officer, emphasized the part of CDC's guidance that said people who are fully vaccinated should still follow safety measures when visiting people who are not vaccinated, such as wearing masks and keeping distance.

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