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Gov. Mike Dewine, U.S. Surgeon General Vice Admiral Jerome Adams discuss vaccine distribution in Ohio

'Biggest logistical undertaking in modern history'
Posted at 11:01 AM, Dec 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-19 14:02:07-05

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine held a news conference with U.S. Surgeon General Vice Admiral Jerome Adams Saturday afternoon to talk about COVID-19 vaccination distribution plans both in Ohio and across the country.

On Friday, some nursing homes across Ohio started receiving vaccine doses for residents and staff members. According to DeWine, the state estimates that nearly half a million doses of the vaccine will be available for Ohioans by the end of the month.

At the federal level, Adams said he estimates around 20 million doses of the vaccine will be available nationwide by the end of the month and another 50 million doses in January. By the end of February, Adams said he expects around 100 million doses to be available, which is around half of the adult population in the country. According to Adams, those doses include the first and second vaccine doses required to fight COVID-19.

Adams said the federal vaccine distribution is the “biggest logistical undertaking from a public health perspective likely in modern history.”

Next week, DeWine says Ohio will start receiving additional doses of vaccine from Moderna. He estimates that 70% of those doses will go to hospitals across the state and 30% will go to local health departments.

Moderna’s vaccine received the FDA’s emergency use authorization on Friday and is already on its way to the United States.

Adams also addressed fears that some people may have regarding a reaction to the vaccines.

“There are two reports of allergic reactions in the U.K., two reports so far in the United States. We know that for vaccines in general, the rates of severe allergic reaction are about one in a million,” Adams said.

A small number of reactions to any vaccine or medication is something that is normal, he continued. And if you receive the vaccine and experience a slight fever or headache, it's not something to overly worry about.

“As expected, if you're someone who has had a severe allergic reaction to a vaccine in the past, please let your health provider know, but to everyone else out there please, this means the system is working. We are recognizing and catching these very, very rare side effects. And in both of those cases because these vaccines are administered in a health care setting. They were able to be administered epinephrine right away and both people fully recovered,” Adams said.

And with Christmas less than a week away, both DeWine and Adams urged Ohioans to remain vigilant and to help fight the spread of coronavirus by continuing to wear masks and avoiding social gatherings.

“There is a light at the end of the tunnel, there is a finish line in sight,” Adams said. “But you can't afford to stop running, you’ve got to run hard to get to that finish line and that means each and every one of you doing your part. We’ll we do our part at the federal level, and the governor and his staff will do their part at the state level, because together we're going to get through this.”

RELATED: Moderna vaccine 'being packed and loaded today'; US 'on track' for 20 million doses this year

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