DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN)– Governor Mike DeWine visited the Miami Valley to see how a pop-up vaccine clinic operates. He’s gathering information to improve the process in order to ensure enough doses are available no matter where people live.
2,000 people received their first dose of a Pfizer vaccine in the 1B group, which DeWine says he plans to stay at for several more weeks. Right now the problem isn’t with the demand but instead the supply available.
“The vaccines for this clinic that got set up very quickly came from vaccines left over in regard to educators,” said Governor DeWine.
DeWine announced the state is approaching 60-percent of those 80 years and older have received their first dose of a vaccine. Nearly 87-percent of COVID-19 deaths in the Buckeye state are residents over the age of 65. Not only has vaccinating elderly residents been a goal for DeWine, but also ensuring doses are available to underserved populations.
“Montgomery County leads the state in equity of vaccine distribution so clearly we are doing something right around equity issues, but we can always do better,” said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.
DeWine says over 2,200 locations have signed up to be vaccination sites plus some are ready to perform mass-vaccinations. However, the low supply of doses remains an issue.
“Throughout this, we have to continue to be very nimble and move very quickly and make sure the vaccine gets in people’s arms,” said Governor DeWine.
Some of the people who made an appointment traveled from different parts of the state, and they say the drive was well worth it.
“We were willing to drive to Portsmouth, Ohio, we just missed an appointment there,” said Cincinnati Resident Brenda Houser. “I’ve had both of mine but I was walking through fire for him to get one so it was well worth it.”
Cincinnati Resident Brenda Houser traveled over an hour to help a family member find a vaccine appointment. One of Governor DeWine’s main goals fighting the pandemic has been getting older Ohioans vaccinated as quickly as possible, which many residents at today’s event said they couldn’t wait to get their dose.
“This was very convenient, very efficient, they really got their act together,” said Clayton Residents Jim & Cherryl Steen. “We’re thankful to have it because of our age, but we’re just thankful.”
DeWine said Ohio will remain in the 1B group for several weeks due to a high demand but low supply of vaccines available but rest assured, everyone who wants one will get the opportunity.
“For anyone who hasn’t been able to get the vaccine, everyday that goes by it will get easier and we’ll have more vaccines coming in,” said Governor DeWine. “We’ve now vaccinated in this country millions and millions of people and the evidence is very strong that these are safe vaccines.”
DeWine says he’s hopeful that the Johnson and Johnson vaccine will be approved and distributed in March. Kroger helped assist in vaccinating residents today.