COLUMBUS, Ohio (WYTV) – Ohio has recorded yet another COVID-19-related milestone as more than 1 million people have been infected by the virus, just as more contagious variants of COVID spread into the state.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine says its an obligation to make sure people can be vaccinated against COVID-19 as easily as possible.
“One of the things that we decided to do is make sure there are plenty of locations where people have the opportunity close to them to be able to get a shot,” Dewine said.
DeWine and his wife Fran stopped Monday at the Eugenia Atkinson Recreation Center on Youngstown’s north side. It’s a COVID-19 vaccination site, and one of more than 60 in Mahoning and Trumbull counties.
“We’ve given almost over 12,000 vaccines just here in the city of Youngstown, and we know there’s still more people that are out there,” said Youngstown City Health Commissioner Erin Bishop.
With more than 1 million Ohioans now having contracted the virus over the last year, DeWine says even with 1,300 vaccination sites operating around the state, the addition of new mass inoculation clinics like the one opening this month in Boardman will provide people with more choices.
“Some people are more comfortable in a facility like this. Some people are more comfortable in a church. Some people would rather go through a drive-thru. There’s all kinds of ways to reach people,” DeWine said.
Although anyone over the age of 16 will be eligible for the vaccine starting next week, DeWine announced Monday he doesn’t want doses to go unused because of missed appointments at local providers.
“If that department has not been able to fill the slots this week, they can go ahead and take anybody 16 years of age and older,” DeWine said.
Because of the rapid spread of COVID variants, DeWine has said the state is in a race to vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible.
“The quicker you get it, the quicker we’re gonna get out of this,” DeWine said.