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Police, Childcare Workers And People Over 60 Now Vaccine Eligible

Ohio Department of Health

After two months, 1.6 million vaccinations have been delivered in Ohio, to over 14 percent of the state's adult population.  And the state is about to receive more vaccines that ever before. 

With approval of the new COVID-19 vaccination from Johnson and Johnson, Ohio will get over 448,000 doses.  With the greatly expanded supply, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine is expanding who is eligible to get the shot, beginning Thursday,  March 4th.

Ohioans age 60 and above, a cohort of nearly 670-thousand people, will now be eligible to schedule appointments.  

More medical categories will become eligible, including pregnant women, people with Type 1 diabetes and Lou Gehrig's disease.  

And the govenor says more occupations will now qualify for vaccination, with an emphasis on those who are first responders or otherwise on the front line of interactions with the public.

"Police officers.  Sheriff's Deputies.  Ohio State Highway Patrol.  Other state or federal officers such as Ohio Department of Natural Resources enforcement staff, Pharmacy Board investigators, BCI agents, State Fire Marshall employees, federal transportation security officers and other federal law enforcement officers who do not have access to vaccination from federal sources."
Also eligible starting March 4th are corrections officers, parole and probation staff, active firefighters, funeral home employees and some childcare providers, who were not included in the state's plan to vaccinate school employees.

"This includes lead and assistant teachers and substitutes who are enrolled in Ohio's professional registry who are currently working in open childcare and pre-kindergarten programs.  This will also include licensing specialists employed by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services or county Job and Family Services agencies.  This does not include parent volunteers, board members or owners, administrators that don't provide in-classroom support."


Between the three categories of age, medical condition and occupation, the expansions will make over 900-thousand more people eligible for vaccination.  Making appointments across multiple platforms with limited supply has been confusing and frustrating for many Ohioans.  DeWine says he understands, and the state is preparing to open or expand mass vaccinations sites.  With the threat of more contagious COVID-19 variants that could reverse the declining rates of transmission DeWine says it's important to move quickly.  

"We know that this is a race against time.  We know that there is a great potential out there that this virus may get a lot more contagious very quickly.  By some estimates, by the end of the month of March.  So it's imperative that we get as many shots in people's arms as we can.  so we have to expand that group of people who are eligible in order to make sure that all that vaccine gets taken up."


DeWine says there are now 1200 locations where the shot is being administered across the state.  The new, one-shot vaccination from Johnson & Johnson will soon be distributed to independent and chain pharmacies, county boards of health and hospital vaccination clinics.

A native of Chicago, naturalized citizen of Cincinnati and resident of Columbus, Alison attended Earlham College and the Ohio State University. She has equal passion for Midwest history, hockey and Slavic poetry.
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