CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - It comes as no surprise that putting a system in place to ensure that everyone who wants a vaccination can get one is an enormous process and one that is proving to be very difficult in the City of Cleveland and elsewhere.
That process is made even more difficult because it has to be created at a time when the virus is still surging, said Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson. The city continues to set records for the number of people dying and being admitted to local hospitals.
“Our emergency rooms and intensive care units, it’s putting a tremendous strain on our system and our infrastructure as a whole so now we have the vaccine and we are administering the vaccine according to state guidelines,” Jackson said during a online briefing Tuesday.
The vaccine should help, but there are certainly roadblocks in that process.
19 News has previously reported that the Cuyahoga County Board of Health Director Terry Allan said that there are a significant number of people who are eligible to receive the vaccine but have instead opted out.
Jackson confirmed that the same issue is plaguing the city’s effort to provide the vaccine.
As the city moves forward with the vaccine program, there are legitimate communication issues, the mayor said, between the state and the federal government in regards to developing an infrastructure, in the city, to get the vaccine out as the process moves forward.
“There is no infrastructure for this. There is announcements made at the federal and state level as to what should be done and its left up to local communities to build an infrastructure to do that and get it done and do it right,” the mayor said. “Our intent is to do it and do it right.”
Another looming issue in the city is security as it relates to inauguration day next week.
The FBI is reporting that they are expecting armed protests across the country on inauguration day, specifically in capital cities, but the threat is significant enough that 19 News asked the mayor what the city is doing to ensure safety.
“I can say to you that I have had these conversations with the safety department and they are on top of it in terms of looking at the chatter that is going on, monitoring what they monitor,” Mayor Jackson said.
Further, the mayor said, the city is developing a strategy and a plan to address the potential of protests on inauguration and day and the days leading up to that event.