DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) -During a stop in Dayton, Governor DeWine shared the latest updates on the state’s COVID-19 response and overall vaccination efforts.

He said that the Vax-2-School program has already garnered over 58,000 registrants. However, they’re holding out on official approval of the Pfizer vaccine for 5-11 year old children before announcing award dates.

“We’re hoping around November 2 or 3, the federal government will give final approval for 5 year old [children] and above to get vaccinated. And that’s really a big deal,” he said.

DeWine said getting this group of Ohioans vaccinated will be very important in the continuing fight against the spreading and mutating COVID-19.

“Getting vaccinated is the way to stay in school and keep our schools open,” he said. “If a young person plays football or runs cross country or is thinking about winter basketball or volleyball…the way to have that full season this year is to get vaccinated.”

While Governor DeWine is encouraging more people to get vaccinated, he says he is against government-led vaccine mandates.

“I don’t think government should be involved in telling businesses whether they should vaccinate or not vaccinate,” said DeWine. “We should leave it up to our hospitals to keep their employees safe and their patients safe. We shouldn’t be coming in as the government and telling them what to do.”

Governor DeWine says he has not talked any further with President Biden or Biden’s administration about the federal vaccine mandate for businesses with more than 100 employees.

Right now, he says he’s working instead on getting booster shots distributed in nursing homes across Ohio.

“I think the most important thing for us to do is focus on continuing to get people vaccinated,” said DeWine.

To register for the Vax-2-School program, click here.