COLUMBUS, Ohio — Pharmacies will make three stops at nursing homes in Ohio to provide COVID-19 vaccinations, and if residents choose not to get the vaccine after the second visit, there is no guarantee they will be able to get both vaccine shots, which need be taken three weeks apart, Governor Mike DeWine said Wednesday.
“First of all, it's your choice,” DeWine said about Ohioans’ decision to receive the vaccine. “We believe that medical science clearly shows that it's the right thing to do.”
The federal government has set up a program to send pharmacy staff to nursing homes three times to vaccinate residents and staff members, DeWine said.
During the first stop, anyone who wants to be vaccinated will receive the first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. Those administering the vaccine will return three weeks later to deliver the second shot and to give the first shot to anyone else who wants one. Any residents or staff who decline to be vaccinated during this visit may not have the opportunity to be vaccinated for months, DeWine said.
“So, again, this is — everyone makes their own choice about this, but we just want to make it clear that that opportunity may not come back for a while now,” DeWine said. “Our goal ultimately is to offer this to everybody in the state of Ohio. But we know that's going to take much. And so just a kind of a word of caution in regard to that on the same way would be with obviously with health and health care staff — that opportunity again may not come back, or at least we cannot guarantee that.”
DeWine also asked family members of those in nursing homes to encourage them to get the vaccine, unless there is a reason they should not.
Next week, Ohio will receive 69,500 more doses of Moderna vaccine, 70,200 initial doses of Pfizer vaccine, and an allocated second dose of Pfizer vaccine for 90,475 people, DeWine said.
To date, 94,078 Ohioans have received the first dose of vaccine, which is .8% of the state’s population.