Ohio moved past 8,000 confirmed and probable deaths from COVID-19 over the weekend. And around 4,500 Ohio health care workers and nursing home residents and staff have gotten a first dose of the vaccine to protect them from the coronavirus.
Vaccines started in nursing homes and congregate living facilities on Friday.
The Ohio Department of Health has confirmed that the second and third shipments of the Pfizer vaccine will be almost half what was expected. But Gov. Mike DeWine said he still thinks the state will get around 510,000 doses this month.
“It does not appear that, you know, the number that we're now being told that's not going to slow us up in regard to the nursing homes. We are on track there," DeWine said on Saturday, during a Zoom call with reporters after a virtual meeting with U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams.
In #Columbus Ohio, speaking with @GovMikeDeWine, state representatives, and community leaders about #COVID19 and the importance of vaccinations - when gatekeepers are confident and informed, community members are confident and informed.
— U.S. Surgeon General (@Surgeon_General) December 19, 2020
DeWine also announced that the Department of Health and Human Services has approved a waiver toallow the Ohio National Guard medical personnel to administer vaccines to the general population when they become available. It's unclear when that will be. Guard personnel have been helping at the state's pop-up testing sites for several months.
Adams told reporters on that call he expects 20 million doses of vaccine nationwide by the end of December, 50 million by the end of January and 100 million doses by the end of February, now that the Moderna vaccine has been given emergency FDA approval.
"I want people to understand this is the biggest logistical undertaking from a public health perspective likely in modern history," Adams said. "But we're committed to transparency and we still are on track, especially with the emergency use authorization of the Moderna vaccine.”
Adams publicly received the vaccine on Friday, along with Vice President Mike Pence.