COLUMBUS, OH — #Calling distributing the coronavirus vaccines a “moral imperative”, #Gov. #Mike #DeWine on #Wednesday said that #Ohioans need to have a sense of urgency in getting vaccinated as the opportunity to do so arises.
#As of this week, state health officials said that #Ohio has received 529,000 doses of the #Pfizer and #Moderna vaccines with more than another 250,000 doses expected to arrive next week. #Yet, only about 94,078 shots have been given to date, the governor said #Wednesday. #While #DeWine said #Wednesday that receiving the vaccine remains an individual choice as #Phase 1A of distribution continues among frontline workers, healthcare professionals and staff and residents of the state’s nursing home facilities, #DeWine said that the rate at which people are being vaccinated needs to speed up.
#DeWine’s plea came on a day when 8,178 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus were announced as were 133 new deaths. #As of #Wednesday, 690,748 #Ohio residents have tested positive for the coronavirus while 8,555 people have died since the pandemic began in #March.
#DeWine said he is not casting blame as to why vaccinations have not taken place more quickly, but after having what he characterized as a candid discussions with hospital officials across the state #Wednesday morning, the governor said that there has to be more urgency in increasing the number of people who are receiving the vaccinations.
#DeWine announced last week that school employees will soon be added to those who are eligible to receive the vaccinations. #DeWine said he does not yet have a date of when that process will begin, but in an effort to get students back into the classroom for in-person instruction, he said that it is imperative that teachers and any other school employee that is around students should be among those next in line to receive the shot.
#In the meantime, however, #DeWine said his main focus is improving how the process of who current vaccinations are getting done. #DeWine said that next week, the state is expecting 69,500 additional doses of the #Moderna vaccine and that shipments of 70,200 doses and 98,475 doses of the #Pfizer vaccine will arrive.
“#We can’t control how fast the vaccine comes into the state of #Ohio and we know there is a scarcity,” #DeWine said in a news conference #Wednesday. “… #While we can’t control how much comes in each week, we certainly can control how fast we get it out.”
“There is a moral imperative to get it out as quickly as we can.”
#DeWine said as of #Wednesday, only about 40 percent of nursing home employees are choosing to receive the vaccinations despite being offered the chance to do so. #DeWine said he is requesting that hospitals aim to get the vaccines out to frontline workers within 24 hours of when they receive it and then report back to the state to allow officials to document how the vaccinations are being distributed.
#DeWine more than once said #Wednesday that he did not want to point fingers as to why vaccinations were not taking place more quickly. #But he was clear that he isn’t happy with the rate at which the process is taking place. #He warned that if those eligible for vaccinations now did not choose to receive it that he cannot guarantee when they would get another chance.
#He said the process of making vaccinations available to the general public won’t happen for months, which makes it imperative for those who have the opportunity to receive it, take it when it is made available.
#DeWine said approximately 80 percent of nursing home residents are being vaccinated and the governor encouraged family members of nursing home residents to encourage their loved ones to take the vaccine when given the chance.
“#Again, it’s their choice (to be vaccinated),” #DeWine said. “#But if they don’t, there is no guarantee when they will have another opportunity.”
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