CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - When it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine, have we reached a plateau?
Some medical experts, as well as Ohio’s Governor, acknowledge to 19 News that it’s time that we move to a new phase of offering the vaccine.
As Gov. Mike DeWine told reporters, “We are in a different phase of this.” That means making the vaccine more available to Ohioans by offering it not just at mass vaccination sites, but smaller venues and possibly going into neighborhoods.
Doctor Amy Edwards a Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist and Associate Medical Director of Infection Control for University Hospitals tells 19 News, “If we really want to reach herd immunity it’s time to start getting into the weeds on these complicated logistics, and start getting people access to these vaccines.”
According to Doctor Edwards Ohio has somewhat reached a plateau.
“If you look at the COVID Vaccine Dashboard that the state of Ohio puts out it definitely kind of looks like we’ve had this peak, where lots of people were getting vaccinated. We’re starting the vaccine series every day, and then it has kind of started to taper off a little bit.”
On March 31, 101,000 Ohioans received the COVID-19 vaccine.
On April 15, that number is more than cut in half with 49,075 receiving a vaccination.
But Dr. Edwards and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine say the lower numbers are to be expected since 36% of Ohioans are now vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Mass vaccination sites like the Wolstein Center on the Cleveland State campus are designed to pull in big daily numbers, especially from those eager to sign up to get the vaccine. But there are still people in neighborhoods all over Ohio who have trouble scheduling an appointment, or have no way to get there, even possibly no mobility, or were reluctant when the vaccines initially came out.
“So basically, you just need to start going neighborhood to neighborhood. Community to community and you’re not going to get a lot of people. These busses or mobile clinics, or whatever you want to call them they’re more expensive, and it’s more logistically challenging and your return on investment is lower. But it’s necessary to close the gap,” Dr. Edwards said.
Gov. DeWine says we are also in a phase where people are getting the second dose of the vaccine, and you may have to shop around a little harder to find who is offering the first shot, “We just have to stay focused every single day and continue to find different ways to reach people, and be able to vaccinate them.”
The Governor says you’re starting to see more providers opening up for “walk-ins,” and there are now 1500 different vaccination sites or places where you can get a vaccine.
The Wolstein Center is also now branching out Gov. DeWine says, “We are partnering with FEMA and Metro Health to offer first doses of the Pfizer vaccine beginning tomorrow (April 16) at a Wolstein Center “satellite clinic.”
The clinic is located at 5398 Northfield Road in Maple Heights.
There is free parking on-site.
You can also call 211 for free transportation.
Pfizer’s first doses will be offered April 16-17 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
If you still need help finding a vaccination site in Ohio you can log on to Gettheshot.coronavirus.Ohio.gov or call the Ohio Department of Health’s call center at: (833) 427-5634.