First batch of COVID-19 vaccine coming to Ohio around Dec. 15, Gov. DeWine says

Posted at 2:40 PM, Nov 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-24 23:28:40-05

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said Tuesday that he expects the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines will be delivered to Ohio around Dec. 15.

“And we're very excited about that — we’re in the process of, you know, planning, how that will get out,” DeWine said. “It will come out to us in different batches from then on. And we will be getting it out. So we'll have more information about that as we get closer. But we have a date that looks pretty definite, pretty certain, we hope.

While DeWine did not announce Tuesday how many doses of vaccine will be coming to Ohio, he has previously said that the Trump administration told him that Ohio will receive 30,000 in the first batch, with more in future batches. The first round of vaccines the state receives will be from Pfizer, followed by Moderna.

RELATED: A COVID-19 vaccine may be in Ohio by December — who gets it first, and where can they get it?

DeWine said last week the first batches of the vaccine will go to those who are most at-risk, including those who work in long-term care facilities, nursing homes, other congregate-care facilities, high-risk health care workers and first responders.

The state government has selected 10 pre-positioned sites for vaccine distribution, based on geography, populations and access to ultra-cold storage capacity, as the vaccine must be kept cold to remain effective.

The three sites in Northeast Ohio currently selected for vaccine prepositioning are:

  • Cleveland Clinic Main Campus in Cuyahoga County
  • MetroHealth Main Campus Medical Center in Cuyahoga County
  • Aultman Hospital in Stark County

Dr. Dan Simon, Chief Clinical and Science Officer with University Hospitals actually participated in the clinical trials for the Pfizer vaccine, and told News 5 he is optimistic a vaccine will soon be ready for distribution here in Ohio.

“This is the light at the end of the tunnel," Dr. Simon said.

“We are on fire from a surge, we have more patients in our hospital than we’ve ever had, but we are being delivered this incredible, optimistic information."

"That finally, as I’ve said before, it’s like Winston Churchill said, it’s the beginning of the end, because now you’re going to have a vaccine.”

"We know how to administer the vaccine to hundreds of patients, we know how to store it, how to receive it, how to thaw it.”

“The excitement that we have, the optimism that we have is that we can start now rolling-out the vaccine."

“Phase 1-A, first responders and front-line healthcare workers, phase 1-B, over 65 and high risk, and eventually in phase 2, broader distribution.”

“Great optimism, but realism. As you know the distribution around this vaccine is complicated.”

DeWine said that while a vaccine should be available soon, it will take some time before all Ohioans can get vaccinated, and we must remain vigilant in the meantime.

“This will take a while. This will take a number of months to get done,” DeWine said. “But for the first time, we now have great confidence that this vaccine is here. It's going to be used and it's going to take us out of this great tragedy. But, but we have a few months to go.”