I-TEAM: Cleveland continues to fall behind other cities with COVID-19 shot distribution

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — The FOX 8 I-Team is investigating why the city of Cleveland keeps falling more and more behind in getting out the COVID-19 vaccine.

Tuesday, the city announced it has 6,500 doses of the vaccine, but the health department has only given out 1,767 shots.

The I-team checked around the state, and we found Columbus has given out 5,405 shots, Cuyahoga County 4,000, Dayton-Montgomery County 3,863, and Summit County 3,167. All, many more than Cleveland.

Meantime, we’ve shown you, the city of Cleveland gives police escorts to the vaccine as it’s transported to sites for shots.

But, we also found on Monday, the city did not give out any shots at all.

The I-Team put in a request to interview the mayor. He wouldn’t face questions in a typical give-and-take. Instead, he held a briefing for reporters while only taking questions sent in by email. Questions read to him by his staff. Answered on social media.

The Mayor said he’s only  answering questions submitted in writing on social media, in part, since that gives him greater control over what people hear.

Mayor Frank Jackson said, “Everyone hears the same thing. There’s no filter.”

Still, when the COVID-19 outbreak began, the I-Team revealed the health department in Cleveland failed to follow up on health complaints.

Later, we revealed the department failed to fill empty positions even as the health crisis raged.

Now, we find the department failing to get the vaccine out quickly. So, we sent in a question about that.

The mayor responded, “You use the word ‘failure’ which is completely inaccurate. It has connotations. We have done our job with the resources and the personnel that we have.”

He also claims the state of Ohio started to roll out the vaccine without any system in places in cities and counties to get the vaccine to the people.

Tuesday, in the Midtown section, we met two ladies 86 and 82 years old. Both told us they are counting the days until they get the vaccine. But, they also wonder how long they will have to wait.

City Hall says it will announce the next steps for continuing the vaccine rollout in Cleveland in the coming days.

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