(WKBN) – Starting Friday, another 1.6 million Ohioans will be eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
Gov. Mike DeWine made the announcement Tuesday.
He said the eligibility expansion is happening because the state is getting a significant increase in doses.
The following people are included in this next phase, Ohio’s Phase 1E and 2C:
- People 40 and older
- Anyone of any age who has medical conditions like cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, heart disease or obesity
Starting March 29, those 16 and older can register for the vaccine.
DeWine said Ohio is averaging 400 doses a week. He’s expecting it to go up another 100,000 starting March 29. At that time, 16- and 17-year-olds will only be able to get the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine only covers those 18 and older.
DeWine said he’s worried about the hesitancy some people have to getting the vaccine. He said a lot of it is going to depend on young people to get it and help slow the spread.
“We are all in this together. We said this in the beginning, and we’re ending this big discussion and this whole year with all of us really in this together because we now depend on each other to knock this virus down, and the more of us who get vaccinated, the better off we’ll be.”
On Thursday, DeWine said there are still a lot of people who might not have access to registering for a shot, depending on their situation. They will soon be testing a walk-up coronavirus clinic, where patients won’t need to schedule an appointment ahead of time. DeWine didn’t give any more details about when that would happen.
Just a few weeks ago, he announced he would drop all COVID-related health orders if the state could get to 50 cases per 100,000 people for a two-week period. Right now, Ohio is at 143.8 but trending in the right direction.
DeWine reminded people that number was 700 cases per 100,000 not too long ago.
So far, more than 2.5 million people in Ohio have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine and close to 1.5 million have gotten two doses.
The Ohio Department of Health has an online tool for people to check eligibility and book an appointment.