DeWine Says Next Phase of Vaccinations to Start in Two Weeks, Includes Elderly, Teachers


Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced on Tuesday that the next phase of coronavirus vaccinations should begin in two weeks.

Phase 1B includes those ages 65 years old and older, those with severe congenital, development or early-onset medical disorders, and K-12 teachers and staff. Ohio’s Department of Health said the phase’s population totals more than 2.2 million people.

The department announced those included in the phase in late December, but it was not clear at the time when it would begin to roll out.

DeWine said that the goal of the first two phases is to protect both those who are vulnerable and those in the healthcare field, as well as have the state see a return to in-person learning by March 1.

The state first began distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine in mid-December. Phase 1A — those first in line to receive the vaccine — include health care workers and personnel, psychiatric hospital patients and staff, people with developmental disabilities, those with mental illness in group living facilities and staff of those locations, Ohio veterans home residents and staff, and EMS responders, according to the ODH.

Members of Phase 1A will continue to be able to get the vaccine, even as it becomes available to people in the next phase, DeWine said.

Ohio currently has more than 660,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and more than 9,000 deaths, according to ODH. The state said it has started the vaccination process, which includes a two-part vaccine dose, for more than 175,000 Ohioans.

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Jordyn Pair is a reporter with The Ohio Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair.

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