Ohio sees ‘significant decline’ in COVID vaccine doses administered, DeWine says

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Ohio is seeing a significant decline in the distribution of first doses of the coronavirus vaccines, Gov. Mike DeWine said Wednesday, with fewer than 30,000 first doses administered in the last day.

Previously, 80,000 to 90,000 first doses had been administered in a day.

“It’s certainly not where we want to be,” DeWine said.

Multiple vaccine providers have asked the state to hold next week’s shipment of vaccines because they still have doses left. Ohio is continuing to expand vaccine providers, including primary care physicians.

DeWine called on any health care providers to contact the state if they think they can help distribute the vaccine.

“We’re looking for partners out there, anybody who thinks they have the unique ability to reach people who have not been reached yet,” he said. “We want to supply you with the vaccine.”

As of Wednesday, more than 4,447,000 people in Ohio have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, and 3,219,444 people have finished the vaccination, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

That means about 38% of Ohioans have received their first shot, and 27.5% have completed the inoculation.

“There’s no doubt our herd or population is more and more protected as a result of vaccines, but until we get a lot more vaccines in people’s arms, the unvaccinated are quite simply playing a COVID lottery,” said ODH Chief Medical Officer Bruce Vanderhoff. “And it’s a lottery whose consequences are pretty stark.”

He said unvaccinated people do not have the same protection vaccinate people have against COVID.

“The virus is now in more contagious forms that put younger people at much greater risk, including the risk of ending up in the hospital,” Vanderhoff said.

Before the vaccine, Ohio was in a “defense phase” in its fight against coronavirus, DeWine said. The vaccine allows residents to play “offense” and drive down the virus.

“We’re not in this separately,” the governor said. “The sad truth is that when someone makes a decision not get vaccinated and they end up getting [COVID], they very well may be giving it to other people, and other people who are very vulnerable.”

If someone missed their second dose of the COVID vaccine, they can still reach out for another shot.

Ohio is showing signs of new coronavirus cases plateauing again, with Wednesday marking the fifth consecutive day the state reported fewer than 2,000 daily cases.

Ohio recorded 1,789 daily cases in the last 24 hours, figures Wednesday showed. In the last three weeks, the state is averaging 1,944 cases a day.

Hospitalizations were above the 21-day average for the third day in a row. Ohio reported 138 daily hospitalizations compared to the average of 107.

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