COLUMBUS, Ohio — During a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Gov. Mike DeWine announced the next rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in the state. Here are the dates and details about phase 1B of the state's vaccination plan:
Jan. 19: 80 and older
On Jan. 19, vaccinations will be made available for individuals 80 years old and up. DeWine said that group has been deemed the most vulnerable and at-risk for death if they get the virus.
While the vaccination will be distributed for individuals in that particular age group, there will not immediately be enough vaccinations for the number of Ohioans in that category.
DeWine said that there will initially be about 100,000 vaccinations distributed, compared to the estimated population of people 80 years old and up, which DeWine estimated to be around 420,000 to 450,000 individuals.
Because there will not immediately be enough vaccinations, DeWine said this phase will take several weeks.
“We wanted to set aside one week where nobody else could get it based on age except those 80 years or older,” DeWine said.
DeWine said the state will hold a webinar on Monday to outline the details for phase 1B and by Tuesday the facilities selected to receive the vaccine will be notified.
Facilities that will be receiving the vaccinations include local health departments, hospitals, home health service providers, some retail pharmacies and other health centers.
"Now you can go to a pharmacy and get it. You can go to your doctor's office and get it," said Donna Skoda the health commissioner for Summit County. "It looks like everybody will have a little bit of it, so there will be a lot of resources for people to go to."
The governor said that some providers may require appointments and some may hold drive-thru, walk-in or walk-up clinics to administer the vaccine. Those details will soon be provided by local facilities that receive the vaccine.
The plan for the weeks following the 80-year-old group receiving the vaccine is to subtract five years for the eligible age group each week.
Jan. 25: 75 and older, some disabled individuals
Vaccinations are expected to start for people 75 years old and up beginning on Jan. 25. During this week, vaccination will be made available to those with severe congenital, developmental or early-onset medical disorders. DeWine said details on how to receive a vaccine for those with congenital, developmental or early-onset medical disorders will be made available next week.
Feb. 1: 70 and older
The following week, those 70 and older are expected to be able to begin receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
Feb. 1: School personnel
DeWine said that the state began sending forms this week to schools to be signed by the superintendent asking if their school will agree to open on March 1. If they sign, they will be provided with the vaccine.
During the week of Feb. 1, the state will begin to vaccinate school personnel in order to return students to in-person or hybrid learning.
“The reason for doing this is very simple and singular. It’s to get kids back in school,” DeWine said.
Schools will also be asked to send the number of staff members they believe will choose to take the vaccine.
The governor said child care centers are not part of 1B.
James Schmidt, a teacher at Shaker Heights High School, said it would be ideal to be back in the classroom by March 1, but may be a lofty task.
"It's a great goal to have. We don't want to be out for a whole year, and I think that was what in his mind would have that gets us back in March," he said. "I think that might be putting putting the cart before the horse when we don't even know when we're going to get the vaccine, how we're going to get it."
Feb. 8: 65 and older
DeWine said by Feb. 8, the state hopes to be able to provide the vaccine to those aged 65 years and older.
“Again, this is going to take some time,” DeWine said.
The population included in Phase 1B is estimated to be 2.2 million, DeWine said.
The vaccinations for each age group will not be completed when the next age range opens because of the limited number of vaccines.
“We hope that the number of vaccines coming into Ohio will increase,” DeWine said.