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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW)– Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine shared the state’s plans for distributing the first shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine during a news conference on Friday.

DeWine said they will focus on reaching critical groups and the priorities are consistent with the Centers for Disease Control protocols.

“The federal government has made clear that we will not know for sure how many vaccines are coming until closer to the time the shipments are coming,” DeWine said.

Members of Phase 1A:

  • Health care providers and personnel routinely working with the care of COVID-19 patients.
  • Residents and staff at nursing facilities.
  • Residents and staff at assisted living facilities.
  • Residents and staff of Ohio’s veterans homes.
  • Patients and staff at psychiatric hospitals.
  • People with intellectual disabilities and those with mental illness who live in group homes and their staff.
  • EMS responders.

Tentative timeline for Ohio shipments:

  • Around Dec. 15: 9,750 Pfizer vaccines to hospitals, and 88,725 to Walgreens and CVS for congregate care settings.
  • Dec. 22: 201,000 Moderna vaccines to 98 hospitals and 108 health departments. Hospitals will vaccinate those dealing with COVID patients. Health departments will vaccinate people like EMS.
  • Dec. 22: 123,000 Pfizer vaccines to Walgreens and CVS for congregate care settings.
  • Days later: 148,000 vaccines from Pfizer and 89,000 vaccines from Moderna.

DeWine said the state has not started planning for phases beyond 1A and he would not speculate on when the vaccine would be available to an individual around the age of 40 with good health.

Dr. Joseph Gastaldo, with Ohio Health, said studies show the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are about 95 percent effective. He said both trials prioritize safety and the data will be reviewed at the FDA by a group of independent experts before going to the CDC for further scrutiny.

Side effects of the vaccine include a sore arm, headache and feeling “off kilter” for about 24 hours, according to Gastaldo. After all, vaccines are meant to stimulate a person’s immune system, he said.

“Having an effective vaccine and vaccination program will be the first major step in getting us back to a pre-COVID way of life,” Gastaldo said.

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