DeWine hopes to move to next vaccination group in 2 weeks

DeWine hopes to move to next vaccination group in 2 weeks
COVID-19 vaccine administered to healthcare workers and first responders. (Source: WTVM)

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said he hopes the state will move to the next vaccination group in two weeks.

Phase 1B focuses, in part, on those 65 and older. Those in this age bracket are those who are most at risk, DeWine said.

DeWine said as of Sunday, 61% of those in Ohio nursing homes have received their first vaccine and expects it to be 80% by the end of the week, and nearly 100% the week after.

The governor says about 75 to 80% of residents are agreeing to get vaccinated, compared to about 40% of staff.

“Beginning Friday, many at nursing homes who received their first dose will begin receiving their second dose. Those who didn’t choose to receive a dose in the first round can get their first dose then. Afterward, it could be a while before there is another chance for the vaccine,” he said.

Phase 1B also includes school teachers and other school staff members.

While Cincinnati Public School teachers aren’t required to get it, the Teachers Union is encouraging it.

Right now, there are 66 public schools in Cincinnati with 3,700 teachers, substitute teachers, and secretaries who qualify for the next round of vaccines.

“There are some teachers, who I’ve talked to, that are questioning it because they don’t know enough about it, but there are many teachers who can’t wait to get it so they can get back into in-person teaching,” says Cincinnati Teachers Union President Julie Sellers.

The Cincinnati Teachers Union includes about half of the CPS teachers, according to Sellers.

She says the union will be sending out a survey shortly asking staff members if they will get vaccinated or not.

School staff members included in Ohio's next COVID-19 vaccine phase

According to the Ohio Department of Health, there are 735,003 cases and 9,247 deaths.

Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said the state is riding a very high wave of COVID-19.

“Our testing positivity is climbing, hospitalizations across the state (which had dropped) have now jumped back up. Ohio now has 3x the hospitalizations we had on Nov. 1 and almost 7x the number from Oct. 1.,” he said.

Vanderhoff said the hospitals are extremely busy and Ohio hasn’t yet begun to see what the impact may be from the holiday.

Last week, DeWine announced the statewide 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew has been extended until Jan. 23.

The curfew order requires individuals to stay at a place of residence from 10 p.m. till 5 a.m., and retail establishments should be closed.

The extension of the curfew, the governor says, is because it remains unclear “what effect the holidays may have on our hospitals and health care systems.”

The governor also said he hopes to have every kid back in the classroom for in-person instruction by March.

“We have prioritized our kids and hope by March 1 to have every kid back in school in the state of Ohio,” DeWine told CNN’s Jake Tapper Sunday on State of the Union.

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