DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN)– In the Miami Valley, some health leaders voiced concerns over Biden’s plan announced Tuesday to combat omicron, saying it doesn’t entirely address the needs that local hospitals are in need of. They argue that the focal point should be in our own ICUs and not vaccination clinics.
“I appreciate everything the administration is doing and I’m not going to refuse whatever they’re going to give us, but they’re not giving us the critical need,” said Health Commissioner CCCHD Charles Patterson.
Local health leaders argue the critical need to fight the surge of COVID-19 cases isn’t administering booster doses or vaccinations.
“Hospital capacity, that’s the story about COVID right now,” said Patterson. “Yes, vaccinations could’ve prevented us from getting here but we needed to be doing that this entire year all along.”
Acquiring hospital staff and equipment are Clark County’s top needs to combat the surge in cases. Patterson says Clark County has the 7th highest case rate in the state and first in the Miami Valley. Before booster doses can be administered, Public Health believes there’s still a vast majority of Ohioans that may never start the vaccination process.
“Even with all the talk of the boosters we don’t want to lose sight of the value of that first dose,” said Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County PIO Dan Suffoletto. “There are too many people out there that have yet to receive their first dose, so we’re reaching out and encouraging them to do that sooner rather than later.”
According to FEMA, each state will determine what their critical needs are and where the federal assistance should be applied before sending help. Neither Clark County or Public Health – Dayton and Montgomery County expect FEMA to deploy here, much larger cities will be in higher demand. However, Patterson believes we are at a breaking point.
“We’re starting to count ventilators again to make sure we have enough,” said Patterson. “It’s starting to get to a critical point and I sure hope the holidays don’t make this worse.”
At this time the coronavirus dashboard shows over 54 percent of all Ohioans have completed the vaccination process.