Ohio Ranked 43rd out of 50 in COVID Vaccination Distribution


Ohio is the seventh most populated state in America, but according to CDC COVID data on January 28 the Buckeye State ranked 43RD in vaccine doses distributed per 100,000 people.

Ohio ranked 47th out of 51 (including the District of Columbia) for the number of people who had received a second dose of the COVID mRNA antidote.

When asked by a Sandusky reporter during a Thursday briefing if he thought Ohio was doing well compared to other states, Governor DeWine (R) said “we’re never doing well enough as far as I’m concerned.” The governor said he had not yet looked at the new numbers but does so weekly with an eye on how Ohio is doing compared to other states.

The governor then said that he believes Ohio has done a good job targeting – trading mass vaccinations for the more strategic approach to get inoculations to places such as nursing homes.

“I think we’ve done a very good job targeting, and targeting where we can get the most results,” said DeWine. “It’s quite amazing when you compare Michigan and Ohio with nursing homes, we have phenomenally more nursing home beds than Michigan does. That has been a real target, a real priority – one of the reasons [is] that over half our deaths have come out of nursing homes and we have a huge number of nursing homes, I think maybe second or third in the nation per capita in regard to the nursing homes themselves.”

Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted chimed in, echoing the governor’s sentiment about focusing on the most vulnerable. Husted also pointed out that Ohio has administered 28,000 more shots than Michigan and had put more doses in people than Illinois, which has a higher population.

The populations of Michigan and Illinois are 9.98 million and 12.67 million, respectively. Ohio, according to the U.S. Census bureau has 11.68 million people.

According to the CDC vaccination data tracker, on Thursday (the day of the presser) the number of people in Ohio who had received at least one dose was 683,323.  In Michigan that number was 659,118 – in Illinois, 643,555. That number for Ohio ranked the state seventh in the country.

But looking at that number as a per capita measurement, Ohio’s rank (as of the presser on Thursday) for first doses given per 100,000 population was 37 – Michigan was 21 and Illinois 48.

“Look, the easiest way to get all the numbers up on the board would be to open up seven sites around the state and just go. But we don’t think that’s the way we protect the most vulnerable people,” said DeWine.

“I think every state shares that same feeling that you can’t go fast enough. The team is out there trying to get these out to people in a geographically balanced way, target every population and try to be fair about it and when you consider all of those factors, these numbers are never where we want them to be but they do compare quite favorably to some of the surrounding states,” said Husted.

Giving priority to nursing homes meant that Ohio had to bank distributed vaccines as part of the federal program involving partnerships with major pharmacies contracted to dispense the shots.

In addition to the aged in congregate settings, health care workers caring for COVID patients, medically vulnerable and Ohioans 65 and older, The Ohio Star reported, the state has given vax priority to schoolteachers and staff in order to return to in-person and hybrid model learning by March 1.

Ohio also lost to spoilage almost 900 doses of the Moderna formula, resulting in Columbus-based SpecialtyRX being suspended by the Ohio Department of Health from the vaccine provider program.

According to a Friday update on the CDC COVID tracker, Ohio has administered 716,677 first doses, equal to just over six percent of the population. The number of people receiving second doses in Ohio is 125,794 which amounts to a little more than one percent of the state population.

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Jack Windsor is Statehouse Reporter at The Ohio Star. Windsor is also an independent investigative reporter. Follow Jack on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].










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