CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Gov. Mike DeWine admitted on Thursday that there is a “scarcity” in the number of COVID-19 vaccine doses available in Ohio.
“We don’t have enough vaccines in Ohio right now, but we hope our allotment will increase in the future,” the governor said during Thursday’s COVID-19 briefing. “But as of right now, we must deal with this scarcity.”
To date, over 360,000 doses have been administered in Ohio since the final weeks of December 2020. Hundreds of thousands of doses are still believed to be in possession of Ohio health agencies.
The governor said the holidays and time of year played a factor in the initial delay in getting the vaccine out when doses were first received. He believes hospitals and health care providers are now able to more efficiently provide the COVID-19 immunizations.
The warning that the rollout will likely be slower than anticipated, which has been echoed by county health departments throughout Ohio, came days before certain groups of the state’s general population will become eligible to receive the vaccine, beginning Jan. 19.
Rather than establishing one central location for dispensing the vaccine to the public, like other regions have done, Gov. DeWine said Ohio will have multiple distribution sites, like clinics and pharmacies, making it more equally accessible to individuals from different racial or economic classes.
“Yesterday and today, local health departments and emergency management agencies have held press conferences or sent notifications to media to begin to notify residents about where to sign up to get vaccinated,” Gov. DeWine described.
Cuyahoga County released their plans on Thursday, while Summit County shared their strategy on Wednesday.
“Our goal is to eventually vaccinate anyone in Ohio who wants a vaccination,” the Ohio governor added. “We must take this one week at a time. We want to save lives, get our kids back to school, and protect our frontline medical responders. These goals drive every decision we make.”