‘A moral imperative’: DeWine says state’s vaccination rate is unacceptable, urges Ohioans to take action

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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) — In the United States, COVID-19 vaccinations are falling short of the federal government’s goal to give the shots to 20 million Americans before the end of the year.

According to CDC data, which may be delayed, only about two million Americans have received their first dose.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said during his press briefing Wednesday that he is disappointed in the state’s current vaccination efforts.

DeWine said the state’s current vaccination rate is unacceptable and more must be done immediately to get the vaccine out.

So far, of the 500,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine Ohio has received, only 94,000 have been given. That’s still less than one percent of the state’s population.

At this time, four pharmacy companies are vaccinating in nursing homes and expect to be done in a few weeks. The concern is only about 40 percent of nursing home workers are getting it. DeWine said that’s not enough.

Health departments are handling first responders and hospitals, which are vaccinating their own frontline workers. DeWine said it needs to move faster.

According to DeWine, the goal should be to turn vaccines around in a day and to give every dose no more than 24 hours after it has been received and then report to the state 24 hours after it’s been given.

“While we can’t control how much comes in every week, we certainly can control how fast we get it out, and that is incumbent upon all Ohioans to make sure it gets out just as fast as we can get it out,” he said. “It is a lifesaver. We will never know of those people who get the vaccine whose lives will be saved.”

As for who is next to get the vaccine, DeWine announced Wednesday all adults in schools including teachers, janitors, bus drivers and other staff will be in the next phase. He said it is crucial to getting students back in the classroom.

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