US Surgeon General visits Ohio, encourages vigilance as COVID-19 vaccines begin


Ohio, as well as many other parts of the country, began administering COVID-19 vaccines this week

COLUMBUS (WKBN) – The United States Surgeon General stopped in Columbus Saturday, urging people to remain vigilant as the first COVID-19 vaccines start being administered.

Surgeon General Vice Admiral Dr. Jerome Adams met virtually with Gov. Mike DeWine and others involved in Ohio’s fight against the COVID-19 virus.

The meeting was not open to the public but included representatives from the Ohio Department of Health, the Ohio National Guard and state and local leaders. Adams and DeWine gave remarks after the meeting, however.

Ohio, as well as many other parts of the country, began administering COVID-19 vaccines this week.

Adams was part of a group of government officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, who received the first round of the COVID-19 vaccine Friday.

“I’ve looked at the data; I’ve worked with the companies…I know it’s safe,” Adams said, of the vaccine.

Health officials say the vaccine is 90 percent effective

Adams recommended that people continue wearing their masks in public, even as the vaccinations begin.

“I know this has become political, unfortunately, but I want to say to people, the science behind mask wearing has become clear,” he said.

Adams said researchers have learned that more than 50 percent of coronavirus cases are spread by people with no symptoms. That is something they didn’t know when the pandemic began, and that’s why mask-wearing is so important.

“Even if you don’t feel you’re personally at risk… understand that your loved one who’s pregnant may not be able to get a hospital bed,” he said.

The idea, he said, is to preserve hospital capacity.

Adams said wearing a mask helps curb the spread of the virus and is scientifically recommended. He said the United States could have had thousands of additional deaths had people not worn masks.

“We want to put this pandemic away for good. The finish line is in site,” Adams said.

Adams stressed that the federal government is working to get as many vaccines out to states as possible, stressing that it is a huge undertaking but that the approval of Moderna’s vaccine, in addition to Pfizer’s, should help.

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