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Ohioans over 65, school staff will be included in next round of vaccinations, Gov. DeWine says

Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine trials paused
Posted at 3:39 PM, Dec 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-23 15:39:35-05

CLEVELAND — During Gov. Mike DeWine's press conference on Wednesday, he announced the next group of people that will be eligible to get the vaccine in the State of Ohio.

DeWine said any adult over 65 will be eligible to get the vaccine.

He chose this group of people because they represent more than 87% of deaths in the state due to coronavirus. This group represents 1.8 million Ohioans.

The state will also begin offering vaccines to younger people with severe inherited or developmental disorders that make them particularly vulnerable, such as Sickle Cell or Down Syndrome.

DeWine said all adults that work in a school, such as teachers, bus drivers, and custodians, will be eligible to get the vaccine.

His goal is for students to be able to return to in-person education by March 1.

"We've been told by parents, I've been told by parents, by educators that some of these children, because they're out of class, have more mental health problems. They have more emotional problems. They have concerns the parents do about their social well-being as well as their mental health," DeWine said. "I believe it's time to get all our children who want to be in class back in class. That is our goal. It is these kids who are our future. These kids have really been hurt in some cases by not being in school...So our goal is to get them all these children back in school. The vaccine gives us a tool that schools did not have, that educators did not have, that school boards did not have. And so we're going to make the vaccine available to the schools to accomplish the goal of getting the kids back in school now."

Children will not be included in this round of vaccine distribution, but all adults who work at schools, including teachers, administrators and support staff, will be able to get the vaccine, DeWine said.

DeWine said the state is still trying to figure out logistics for distribution of this phase but hopes to start it in the middle of January.

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