Photo provided by WCPO
By: Felicia Jordan
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced on Monday that Ohio will open vaccination eligibility to more Ohioans, including people over the age of 60, law enforcement and childcare workers.
The new categories announced on Monday will be able to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine starting Thursday, DeWine said.
The expansion applies to those in occupations such as law enforcement and corrections, child care workers and those working in the funeral industry.
Vaccinations will also be open to those with Type 1 diabetes, ALS, bone marrow transplant recipients and pregnant women.
On Monday, nearly four million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be shipped. This vaccine only requires a single shot, unlike the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, and it only requires regular refrigeration instead of freezers.
DeWine said Ohio expects to receive 96,100 of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and a total of 448,390 vaccines shipped to the state this week.
“This is by far the most doses, more doses than we have received in any other week,” he said.
The state will also expand locations offering vaccines throughout the state to 1,200 locations statewide, including over 200 independent pharmacies. Most of the newly included pharmacies have not been able to offer vaccinations before, which DeWine said he hoped would expand access throughout the state along with providing the opportunity to support local, independent businesses in the process.
Although Ohio has not yet received its shipment of vaccines this week, DeWine said he and his team came to the determination that the state could afford to open eligibility to more Ohioans after completing a random sampling of vaccine availability throughout the state.
He said his team determined that in many regions, including Athens, Toledo, Norwood and others, there were vaccine providers who still had scheduling availability for vaccinations within reasonable distances of those areas. Although demand is still high in many categories, DeWine said it was this discovery alongside the approval of the third vaccine that led him to determine the state could afford to expand availability to more Ohioans.