Ohio To Hold COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility At 65 And Older

Feb 8, 2021

Drug companies are about to start sending more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to Ohio. But even with more shots available, Gov. Mike DeWine says the state will hold eligibility at 65 years and older starting this week.

DeWine says the state will keep the window of eligibility at 65 in order to vaccinate the 2.2 million people in what's known as "Group 1B."

The group includes more than 300,000 teachers and school staff, causing criticism that younger teachers are getting the vaccine ahead of more vulnerable age groups. DeWine says it's a valid argument.

"It's choices. It's a balance. It's trying to figure out how we protect our elderly but at the same time get our kids back in school," DeWine says.

The governor says they're still committing about 100,000 doses a week for seniors and diverting the rest to teachers just for the month of February.

The state has been receiving 146,200 doses of the vaccine every week. Starting this week, Moderna will increase its portion from 73,200 to 105,600, bringing the state's total amount of vaccine to 178,600 a week. DeWine says Pfizer plans to increase its federal supply by 40% by mid-February.