XENIA — Coronavirus vaccinations for those 80-years-old and over began in Greene County this week and other age groups will be added in the coming weeks.
Demand has greatly exceeded the supply. Gov. Mike DeWine hinted during his Tuesday press briefing that the state may have to pause adding additional groups to the eligibility list, so the most vulnerable are able to get their first dose. Those 80-and-over were the first of Group 1B to be eligible after Group 1A (health care workers, EMS responders, nursing home residents and staff, etc.) received the first doses to arrive.
“We thought that there would be a big uptake,” DeWine said. “We thought people would be very interested. We felt that when we started with people 80 and older, 75, 70 and older that it would be a significant portion (who) would take it. That has proven to be absolutely true.”
However, in trying to save the most lives, DeWine said it’s a fact that a 90-year-old has a higher death rate than a 65-year-old.
“Just is,” he said. “We’re set to go next week on 75. We may slow down beyond that. We have have to slow down the dropping of the age.”
Despite the first dose being a hot commodity, DeWine said there is “no indication” there will be a problem with residents receiving their second dose, which is required at a three- or four-week interval, depending on the manufacturer.
Second doses are set aside.
“Doses are designated first dose and second dose,” DeWine said. “They can be moved around, but we are very focused on making sure that there’s a priority in the way the system is set up, there is a priority for that second dose. When you hear me talk about doses coming into Ohio, I’m generally talking about first doses. Second doses are coming in, we’re just not talking about them. Second doses will be taken care of.”
DeWine added that Johnson & Johnson is working on a vaccine that is a single injection and could be approved as early as March.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.