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CLEVELAND (WJW) — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced an eight-week mass vaccination clinic will be held later this month to give 6,000 COVID-19 vaccines a day.

The clinic will begin on March 17 at Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center in downtown Cleveland. People will be able to schedule online, by phone and in person. The signup system is not currently available.

The release said the location was recommended by Ohio and selected by FEMA, “Based on its proximity to a large number of Ohio’s high-risk citizens and medically underserved populations.”

Vaccine doses administered at the Wolstein Center mass vaccination clinic will be in addition to Ohio’s regular statewide vaccine allotment that is distributed weekly to Ohio’s more than 1,250 established vaccine providers.

DeWine said he asked the White House for a mass vaccination event and the conversation started weeks ago. White House coronavirus special adviser Andy Slavitt said a second site is planned for Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of the Falcons, in Atlanta, Georgia.

The governor said the mass vaccination event will take a community effort and may require the assistance of the Ohio National Guard.

Here is how the clinic will work:

  • The Wolstein Center Mass Vaccination Clinic will operate seven days a week and will offer first doses of the Pfizer vaccine during the first three weeks of operations.
  • Those vaccinated during that timeframe will be guaranteed a second dose during the fourth, fifth, and sixth weeks of the clinic.
  • The brand of vaccine that will be supplied during the final two weeks of the clinic has not yet been determined.
  • Any Ohioan who is currently eligible to receive the vaccine under the Ohio Department of Health’s vaccination plan may be vaccinated at the clinic, but focus will be placed on ensuring that high-risk and underserved citizens in northeast Ohio have easy access to appointments.
  • Ohioans will have multiple options for appointment scheduling, including in-person, phone, and online scheduling via Ohio’s forthcoming statewide online scheduling system.
  • State, local, and federal partners will also deploy to high-risk communities that could be disproportionately impacted by the virus to offer information about the vaccine and to help schedule appointments.
  • Hours of operation have not yet been established, and the site is not yet taking reservations, but specific instructions on how to book an appointment will be announced in the coming days.

Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish said the county is working to provide free transportation to the Wolstein Center for their vaccinations.

There will pop-up mass vaccination clinics in Columbus and Cincinnati on March 19. The last week in March, there will be 11 permanent sites, including Dayton, Akron, Youngstown and Zanesville, as well as four mobile clinics.

(Image courtesy: Ohio Governor’s Office)

“Now that the supply of vaccine is significantly increasing, this is the perfect time for a large-scale clinic in Ohio to bolster our work to get shots in arms quickly, efficiently, and equitably. We welcome FEMA to Ohio and are grateful for their support and the support of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, and Cleveland State University as we continue down the road to recovery,” DeWine said.

“Ohio has held several successful mass vaccination clinics, but this long-term clinic will reach the most people yet – particularly those in Ohio’s most vulnerable populations and those who face barriers in accessing health care. In addition to this new northeast Ohio site, we remain committed to ensuring that, no matter where you live, a vaccine provider is located nearby, and we’re strengthening that commitment by also launching several new state-sponsored mass vaccination sites in other areas of the state,” the governor said.

“We stand front and center with our federal, state and local partners in serving our community in this important way,” said Cleveland State University President Harlan Sands. “As Cleveland’s public
research institution, providing these critical vaccinations is mission-central for CSU.”