Ohio is expected to get about a half million doses of COVID-19 vaccines during the next month. And Gov. Mike DeWine has laid out the state’s plan for processing and distributing those vaccines.
Dewine says when the first batch from Pfizer comes in December 15. 88,725 doses from that shipment will go to Walgreens and CVS which will then administer it in congregate care facilities such as nursing homes, assisted living units and group homes.
“To cover the most vulnerable people as quickly as we can, people who are in a situation where they are more likely to get it and if they do get it, are more likely to not have good outcomes," DeWine says.
DeWine says 9,750 doses of that shipment will also be dispersed to frontline health care workers in hospitals and to health departments who can make sure EMS responders get it. He says it will be up to those facilities to determine which residents or workers get the vaccines first.
Ohio is expecting two additional shipments from Pfizer. One is 123,000 and the other is 148,000 but the date of those shipments has not been confirmed. The Pfizer vaccines require two doses to be fully protected so some of those doses might go to the same people who get innoculated with the first shipment.
The state also expects to get the first shipment of vaccines from Moderna later this month. It will be 201,000 vaccines and will go to 98 hospitals and 108 health departments. Like Pfizer, the Moderna vaccine will require two doses so subsequent shipments from the company will be used to provide that second dose.
DeWine says it will take some time to get the first group, known as 1A, fully vaccinated. And after that happens, the vaccines will be made available to other groups. A panel of health care experts and state leaders are trying to determine who will be included in the succeeding vaccine groups. There have been widespread cases of COVID-19 in Ohio's prisons and jails. DeWine says the group is discussing when to start vaccinating inmates and staff as well as allow essential workers, like grocery store workers or food providers, to get access to the drugs. DeWine says the goal will be to make sure those at risk get the vaccine first.
As for DeWine, he says he and First Lady Fran DeWine will take the vaccine as soon as it is offered to their group.