DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Ohio’s vaccination rollout will expand to more people this week, with those 50 years and older, as well as people with type 2 diabetes or end-stage renal disease, becoming eligible Thursday.
Miami Valley residents voiced praise and concern for the state’s plan on social media Monday night; some were concerned that there’s still specific health conditions not included but others say they signed up within minutes of becoming eligible for their dose.
“It was never really a decision of whether or not I was going to get vaccinated, it was just a matter of when,” said Kelli McCall, a resident of Dayton.
McCall, 55, signed up minutes after she became eligible Monday. Her motivation was to prevent herself from potentially spreading the coronavirus to her family.
“We’ve been very careful, like I said. My husband was in a higher risk group so we’ve been social distancing, things like that. But I really just miss my family,” said McCall. “I miss my sister, my nieces, my kids, even though I’ve been seeing my kids more one-on-one. We kinda figured it was lower risk.”
Other residents say they’re able to get back to work finally being eligible to receive their vaccine based on age. Chris Baumann, 51, says without being able to travel safely for work, making ends meet has been difficult for his family.
“Now that I’m able to get a vaccine, I can get back out on the road and start making money again,” said Baumann. “My concern isn’t my health it’s more for my wife and son who have asthma, so the last thing I want to do is bring it home to them. I’m just ready to get back out there and do what I need to do.”
Ohioans with type 2 diabetes or end-stage renal disease will also become eligible Thursday, which is estimated to be under 200,000 people.
“I am excited to get mine Sunday,” said Terry Bohannon, a resident of Montgomery County. “I also was able to get scheduled for the one dose. I am 59 with type 2 and autoimmune diseases.”
Other residents say, their decision to get a dose is to take matters into their own hands.
“I’m 54 with [rheumatoid arthritis] and will be scheduling soon,” said Maria DeMoss Troutman, a resident of Riverside. “Can’t trust everyone to wear their mask correctly or to even quarantine if they have mild symptoms, so I’m going to hopefully protect myself.”
A resident of Dayton who wanted to remain anonymous said a medical condition that needs DeWine’s attention is multiple sclerosis. Their family says the disease has absolutely compromised the person’s ability to move safely and they’re immunocompromised as well.
“They added neurological conditions in previous groups but left this off,” they said. “Every infusion they get limits their immune system even more, yet still no shot.”
Additionally, there’s a concern for child welfare workers due to their occupation.
“Child welfare workers are going in and out of people’s houses daily, and not only exposing themselves, but also their families and coworkers,” they said. “They should have been a priority back when health care workers were, as an essential service.”
Candance Zamora, a resident of Dayton, wrote a statement for 2 NEWS elaborating on the difficulties her family has faced during the pandemic. At 34-years-old, Zamora is no where near being eligible to receive a dose based on age but her two autoimmune diseases haven’t been on any eligible medical lists either.
I am 34 and I suffer from two autoimmune diseases both of which affect my blood and cause me either to not have enough platelets so that my blood clots or to become severely anemic. Due to my autoimmune diseases, I am on steroids to suppress my immune system from attacking my body which makes me immunocompromised. I am not eligible for the vaccine yet, but am desperate to get it.
This pandemic has caused a major disruption to my family’s daily life. My kids have not been to daycare or school since last March since because of the risk of them bringing home the virus. I have not been able to go into the office to work in close to a year as well. My husband who has to work outside the home is our biggest risk and he is not eligible yet either. Thankfully, I was able to find him a dose at a pharmacy that would have gone to waste and he was able to start his series. Otherwise, he would still be waiting and the risk would be even greater that he’d bring it home. I haven’t been to a store in over a year. My outings are only to the doctors office. Our bubble is extremely small and my kids have not been able to socialize w/ other kids. It’s been tough and me getting the vaccine would make us breathe a lot easier and hopefully start getting to our new “normal.” Unfortunately, due to the way the rollouts have been going, it looks like it may take a while before I am eligible and it is very frustrating.
At the beginning of the pandemic, the focus was on social distancing and wearing masks to protect those most at risk for complications w/ the virus. The autoimmune and immunocompromised make up a huge part of that community and yet most of us are left of the eligibility list.Candace Zamora
As of tonight, Ohio’s coronavirus dashboard indicates we are just shy of two million Ohioans being vaccinated, which is around 17 percent of the state’s population.