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Coronavirus: Vaccine to be made available to all Ohioans age 16 and older starting March 29

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Tuesday all Ohioans who are in Phase 2D of the vaccine rollout — comprised of those age 16 and older — will be eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine starting March 29. 

In a tweet, DeWine said he expects “a significant increase in vaccines coming to Ohio soon,” which will allow for widespread vaccination efforts. 

Starting March 19, individuals in Phase 1E — which includes people with chronic diseases like cancer, kidney disease and heart disease — will be eligible for the vaccine, along with Ohioans in the 40+ age group who make up Phase 2C. 

DeWine stressed in a press conference Tuesday the importance of providing anyone who wants a vaccine with one as soon as possible. 

“The opportunity for every Ohioan to have a vaccination is equally as important as getting this out fast,” DeWine said. “What you're going to see layered on now is even more effort to reach those who have not been vaccinated and to make sure it's available for them.”

DeWine also regarded the increase in eligible age groups as a matter of something that should be done for the good of the people, calling it a “moral imperative” in a tweet. 



Due to the newness of the announcement, Ohio University is trying to plan for the inevitable uptick in vaccinations in a quick and effective manner.

“Our leadership team is aware of the vaccine rollout, and we're very excited about the announcement,” Carly Leatherwood, a university spokesperson, said. “We're currently in discussions with the health department and the state to see how we can best manage student vaccines here at Ohio University.”

The expansion of vaccinations toward the end of Spring Semester may be a challenge for OU.

“From the university perspective, the difficulty that we perceive with the eligibility opening up … at the end of the semester is being able to capture students for both doses with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations,” Leatherwood said. “We are working to see how we can effectively vaccinate students with the resources that we have available.”

Although the state’s plan includes those who are 16 or older, anyone under the age of 18 will only be eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine. The FDA emergency use authorization for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines only includes adults, DeWine said. 

“We're going to continue to push out the vaccine to all these locations and all these communities,” DeWine said. “Why are we doing it now? The answer is we have more vaccine.”

Those who wish to check their eligibility or sign up for a vaccination appointment in Athens County can do so by visiting the Ohio Department of Health’s website

@ryanmaxin

rm554219@ohio.edu

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