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Ohio's vaccination plan backed by data showing dramatic rise in deaths, hospitalizations in older patients

Draft COVID-19 vaccine plan: Frontline workers, elderly and teachers are priority
Posted at 5:47 PM, Feb 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-24 18:46:52-05

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Why did Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health decide to continue on with an aged-based approach to the vaccine rollout? News 5 conducted a data analysis of more than 950,000 COVID-19 cases and found the outcomes get dramatically more severe in older patients.

The next phase of Ohioans to gain access to the COVID-19 vaccine will be those 60 and older. At a news conference Monday, Governor DeWine did not commit to a date when the 60-plus phase would start, but the Governor did announce the 60-plus phase would be followed by another age-based group, Ohioans who were 55 and older.

Right now, Ohio is in Phase 1B of its rollout plan, focusing on vaccinating anyone 65 and older along with teachers and people with severe medical conditions.

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Infographic detailing the dates of Phase 1B of the state's vaccination plan.

According to DeWine, those 50 years old and older makeup between 97% and 98% of COVID-19-related deaths.

Here is a look at the risk of dying from COVID-19 by age.

As you can see from the graphic, the risk of death from COVID-19 is very small for people aged 30 and under. Just 33 Ohioans under 30 have died, which statistically is less than 0.01% of people in that age group diagnosed with the disease. The risk of dying from COVID remains low until age 50, where the risk of death starts to increase. For people ages 50 to 60, the risk jumps and COVID-19 becomes fatal in people 2% of the time. From 70-79, the rate jumps to 6.6% of all cases end in death. In people 80-plus, 17.8% of cases result in death.

The same trend line continues for hospitalizations. Relatively few people under 30 who contract COVID-19 require hospitalization. That number starts to climb at 50 years old. People in the 70-79 age range will require hospitalization 17.6% of the time.

DeWine said the state is currently considering adding certain smaller groups to the 60-and-older group to be vaccinated next. These groups would be made eligible based on the risk of their exposure to COVID-19.

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