Ohio expected to receive 420,000 coronavirus vaccines by Christmas, DeWine says

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Ohio is expected to receive more than 420,000 coronavirus vaccines by Christmas, Gov. Mike DeWine announced Tuesday, a day after the state’s first batch arrived.

Pfizer sent 98,475 doses to Ohio this week with a second batch of 123,000 vaccines expected to arrive next week.

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Moderna is scheduled to send 201,900 vaccines next week as well.

“While supplies are limited right now, we have been told that we will continue to get vaccines through the end of the month,” the governor said.

The week after Christmas, Ohio expects to receive 148,000 Pfizer vaccines and 89,000 from Moderna.

Local health departments are slated to start distributing vaccines next week, DeWine said. On Tuesday, the state sent out guidance on who should be prioritized during this phase of the state’s vaccination rollout.

Priority should be given to staff and residents in congregate care facilities, including nursing homes and facilities for those with developmental disabilities, mental health disorders and substance abuse disorders.

Local health departments should also prioritize health care workers who are not being vaccinated by hospitals or health care systems, such as home health workers, hospice staff, EMS responders, high-risk public health staff, dental providers and more.

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Coronavirus vaccines continued to be delivered to Ohio hospitals.

Springfield Regional Medical Center received its first batch of vaccines Tuesday morning and planned to administer them to high-risk hospital personnel. It’s one of seven hospitals in Ohio that started receiving the vaccines Tuesday.

Kasi Gardner, a nurse in Springfield Regional Medical Center’s progressive cardiac care unit, was vaccinated during DeWine’s press conference.

The state received its first doses of the Pfizer vaccine on Monday, with shipments going to Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

Though the vaccine marks a new hopeful chapter in the state’s fight against coronavirus, DeWine said residents still need to work to slow the spread.

“Unfortunately, Ohioans are still being hospitalized at record numbers today,” he said.

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Ohio recorded its second highest number of daily hospitalizations at 614, bringing the state’s total to 32,878, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

Ohio had 5,296 coronavirus patients in hospitals Tuesday, with 1,311 in the ICU.

“We now have more patients - just in the ICU - than we had total for all COVID-19 hospitalized patients during our previous peak last summer,” DeWine said. “We also have 863 patients who need a ventilator. As recently as a month ago, there were just 360 patients on ventilators.”

If things don’t turn around, the rest of December, January and February will “be hell,” the governor said.

Ohio reported 103 deaths attributed to coronavirus Tuesday, bringing the total to 7,654, according to ODH.

Cases increased by 8,755 for a total of 579,357.

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