Gov. DeWine and Youngstown mayor hammer out plan for COVID vaccine sites

Coronavirus

To get the vaccine to everyone, the governor is using a different approach than other states

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine used his Tuesday coronavirus briefing to focus on vaccinations and making sure everyone, rich and poor, can get one if they want one.

The Governor himself was vaccinated Tuesday morning, along with his wife Fran. They both meet the guidelines of being over 70. DeWine had said he would not be vaccinated until it was his turn, and people over 70 were eligible this week.

To get the vaccine to everyone, the governor is using a different approach than other states. He’s trying to avoid mass crowds, going to big places, and he’s also looking out for the elderly who are living in large senior centers and don’t have cars.

“The pandemic has highlighted significant inequities in our healthcare system,” DeWine said.

To help ensure inequalities aren’t part of the vaccination process, DeWine plans to open popup vaccination clinics at the 700 mostly urban senior centers across Ohio, including centers in Youngstown.

“I was just on a call with the governor, and we were talking about how we were going to get to the congregate settings, the most vulnerable individuals,” said Youngstown Mayor Tito Brown. “We are going to have clinics set up in those locations, actually with the National Guard helping us.”

DeWine said they are going to target places such as apartments where 150-200 people are living.

“We are going to target those, frankly, that have a high minority population,” he said.

The staff at Youngstown’s St. Christine School were given vaccines Monday. They were provided by the city’s health department, one of Ohio’s 700 providers. It’s these types of settings that the governor prefers.

“It would have been a lot simpler to go to some mega sites. We decided we wanted these into every county, every community, people have to have access,”

Here’s where Ohio stands as of Tuesday:

  • Statewide 7.6 percent of the population has been vaccinated.
  • Mahoning County is a whole percentage point above that at 8.7 percent
  • Trumbull County’s at 7.3 percent
  • Columbiana County is at 7 percent

Youngstown Health Commissioner Erin Bishop said the city has already been vaccinating senior citizens in large settings. She says on Saturday, they’ll be at all three of the YMHA Senior Housing Centers in Youngstown.

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