Gov. Mike DeWine said Monday that any Ohioan 16 and over will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine a week earlier than previously announced, if doses would be going to waste otherwise.
According to WKYC, during a conversation in Youngstown on Monday, DeWine said:
"I authorized all of the (local) health departments in the state and any other of the (COVID-19 vaccine) locations — we have about 1,300 locations around the state of Ohio — so we have now authorized them that if they cannot fill slots this week or next week, we authorized them this morning to go ahead and offer them to 16 years of age and older. If the department has not been able to fill the slot this week, they can go ahead and take anybody 16 years of age and older."
The expected announcement is partly a response to rural health directors who have already informally opened up COVID-19 vaccine appointments to everyone to ensure that all available doses are being administered.
DeWine will likely stress that Ohioans in their 20s and 30s should only be signing up for appointments if the vaccines would be going to waste.
Ohio has been getting roughly 400,000 vaccine doses per week through the month of March. DeWine announced that "significantly more" would be coming the week of March 29, (probably in the neighborhood of 500,000 doses.)
Details for a long-term mass vaccination site at Xavier's Cintas Center are expected soon from the Ohio Department of Health.
Find local vaccine providers at healthcollab.org/vaccine-info.
This story was first published by CityBeat sister paper The Cleveland Scene