It appears the pace of COVID-19 vaccinations is slowing down in Ohio, while the rate of new cases remains stubbornly high.
State health officials reported 1,789 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, as the number of cases seems to have stalled at a high plateau. Hospitalizations have remained at or above recent averages, with 138 new admissions, and over 12-hundred people currently hospitalized with coronavirus.
Vaccination clinics continue around the state, and in his coronavirus briefing Wednesday Governor DeWine hinted that the joint state/federal vaccination clinic in Cleveland will be extended past it's original eight weeks stint. Over 4.4 million Ohioans have received at least their first shot, and 27.5 percent of all Ohioans are now fully vaccinated.
But the rate of new vaccinations is slowing. There were 30,000 first shots administered Tuesday, down from 80-90,000 a day in late March. Some vaccine providers are are turning down new first doses of vaccine, and there are concerns that the remaining unvaccinated population will be harder to reach. State medical director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff says that vaccine hesitancy means people are now facing a more dangerous virus.
"...which is more contagious, and able to put younger people at much greater risk, including the risk of ending up in the hospital. Essentially the new variants have evolved to stick more easily to our cells. So it takes less of the virus, less exposure, to make a person sick. "
And Vanderhoff says herd immunity is still a long way off.