Governor says school staff, people 65 or older among next group of Ohioans eligible for COVID-19 vaccine

Governor says school staff, people 65 or older among next group of Ohioans eligible for vaccine

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - During Wednesday’s briefing, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine remarked on who will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine once it becomes more readily available.

The governor highlighted three broader categories of people for eligibility in the next phase, including school faculty members, individuals who are 65 years or older, and persons who suffer from inherited or developmental disorders.

Gov. DeWine said the vaccine will be available to faculty members, including teachers, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, and anybody else who may come in contact with children throughout the day, in Ohio’ school districts.

The available vaccine doses are currently only available for adults and older teens; Pfizer’s vaccine has only been authorized for ages 16 and older, while Moderna’s formula has been approved for anyone 18 and over.

“We will offer vaccines to all schools that want to go back, or to remain, in person. All adults in the schools would have the ability to get a vaccine,” the governor said.

The governor also announced that Ohioans who are 65 years and older can receive the COVID-19 vaccine as part of the next phase.

The third group highlighted during Wednesday’s briefing will include vulnerable individuals who suffer from inherited or developmental disorders, such as Down syndrome or sickle cell anemia.

A specific date for the next phase in the vaccine rollout is not known, but Gov. DeWine said his goal is to begin by mid-January. He added that he hopes to have the option for children to return to school comfortably once faculty members receive the vaccination by March 1.

The governor said it will still be “months” until all Ohioans have access to the vaccine.

As of Wednesday, over 11,700 Ohioans have received the COVID-19 vaccine since immunizations started in mid-December. Phase 1A included front-line health care workers, EMS responders, residents of congregate care settings.

Copyright 2020 WOIO. All rights reserved.