'This is the beginning of the end of the pandemic,' Gov. DeWine says as first COVID vaccines arrive in Ohio

Posted at 11:02 AM, Dec 14, 2020

COLUMBUS, Ohio — History was made Monday as the first COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Ohio at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and First Lady Fran DeWine were outside the hospital where the first vaccines were administered to around 20 to 30 healthcare workers.

“This is a very exciting day for Ohio. It's the day that starts the process toward the end of the pandemic. The end is a long way off, but the end is in sight. Every day as we move forward from here, we'll see more and more people vaccinated,” DeWine said in an update over Zoom.

Another batch of COVID-19 vaccines will arrive at UC Health in Cincinnati, where another 975 doses will be administered.

DeWine said the following eight hospitals in Ohio will each receive 975 doses on Tuesday:

  • St. Vincent Medical Center - Mercy Health, Lucas County
  • Cleveland Clinic, Cuyahoga County
  • MetroHealth Medical Center, Cuyahoga County
  • Mercy Health – Springfield Regional Medical Center, Clark County
  • OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, Franklin County
  • Aultman Hospital, Stark County
  • OhioHealth O'Bleness Hospital, Athens County
  • Genesis Hospital, Muskingum County

The eight hospitals were selected to receive the vaccines based on geography, population and access to ultra-cold storage needed to store the vaccines, DeWine said.

DeWine said he hopes that the Moderna vaccine is approved by the FDA next week and more hospitals will be able to receive vaccine shipments.

University Hospitals is expecting its shipment around December 22nd.

"It has been a long nine months, our caregivers have worked so hard and the community has been through so much so to see the vaccine being distributed is really a light at the end of the tunnel," said University Hospitals CEO Dr. Robyn Strosaker.

The governor also announced that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention invited Ohio to participate in an early scale launch of COVID-19 vaccines in nursing homes. That launch is scheduled to begin in five to 10 nursing homes on Friday.

Details about which nursing homes will receive the vaccine will be announced later as the state works out that decision.

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