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(WJW) — For the first time since the coronavirus vaccine rollout began in the state, Ohio declined about 80% of the dose allotment from the federal government for the week. Instead, the state is either sharing with others or opting to put vaccines in storage.
“Ordering only what can be used in the state week-by-week ensures that this vaccine is preserved for who and when it is needed,” Alicia Shoults, a spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Health, said in a statement.
The decision points to a decline in vaccine demand in the state, which the department has reported over the last four weeks.
This week, the state is getting 65,370 new first doses of Pfizer. The state is also asking for about 140,000 doses of the vaccine be stored away at the federal level for when/if the vaccine is approved for those 12 to 15 years old.
About 120,000 doses of all three kinds of vaccines were voluntarily given to the federal government’s vaccine pool to help other states with a higher need.
“We will make this decision every week based on the facts on the ground and will pivot quickly to ensure that we have the most appropriate supply available to meet demand in the state,” Shoults said.
More than 4.8 million Ohioans, or 41% of the population, have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.