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Ohio begins to give COVID-19 vaccine to frontline workers

The first round of vaccinations Monday followed the worst week on record for Ohio as far as virus cases, deaths and hospitalizations.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The first vaccines against COVID-19 arrived in Ohio Monday, with frontline medical workers receiving the first doses.

Health care workers at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and at the University of Cincinnati received the vaccine on Monday.

The vaccine, from Pfizer, was delivered before 9 a.m. and the Wexner Medical Center said the first shots were given at 10:47 a.m.

Emergency medical responders, health care workers and others caring for COVID-19 patients will be the to first receive Ohio's initial doses of the vaccine. Vulnerable people who live together and those who care for them, such as nursing home and assisted facility residents and staffers, will be next.

"It starts the process of the end. We know the end is a long way off, but the end now is in sight and it’s a great deal of excitement here," Gov. Mike DeWine said of the vaccine.

The first round of vaccinations Monday followed the worst week on record for Ohio as far as virus cases, deaths and hospitalizations. 

DeWine warned residents that while it is a joyous day, the state is still far from reaching the herd immunity required to curb infections.

“In this great day of happiness and celebration, I do not want anyone to forget the reality,” DeWine said.

The state is on track to receive another 650,000 doses in January and continue to receive the same amount for the coming months.

Ohio was invited by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to participate in an early scaled launch of the vaccinations in nursing homes. DeWine said the state will provide the vaccine to five to 10 nursing homes starting Friday.

Ohio will also soon have a dashboard online to show the number of people vaccinated in the state.

The following hospitals will receive shipments of the vaccine on Tuesday:

  • Mercy Health St. Vincent Hospital, Lucas County
  • Cleveland Clinic, Cuyahoga County
  • Metro Health Medical Center, Cuyahoga County
  • Mercy Health Springfield Regional Medical Center, Clark County
  • OhioHealth Riverside Hospital, Franklin County
  • Aultman Hospital, Stark County
  • OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital, Athens County
  • Genesis Hospital, Muskingum County

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