coronavirus vaccine

A man cleans the sidewalk in front of the Grandview Theater on May 14, 2020.
David Holm / WOSU

With hints of spring in the air, Gov. Mike DeWine tantalized Ohioans with prospects of the end of pandemic restrictions and a gradual return to life as we once knew it.

Adora Namigadde

Columbus Public Health is making efforts to vaccinate impoverished and displaced people through mobile vaccination clinics.

As healthcare workers in the U.S. received COVID-19 vaccines, many were relieved and hopeful. But doctors who are foreign-born also describe a bittersweet feeling.

The scramble to secure a COVID-19 vaccine appointment is chaotic and fierce. There are not yet enough doses for everyone who's eligible and wants to get vaccinated. As frustration rises, the federal government hasn't offered much besides assurances that things will get better and appeals for calm.

Ohio State employee Lauren Chisholm, left, receives a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination from Robert Weber Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, in Columbus.
Jay LaPrete / AP

A recent poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found about 1 in 3 Americans say they definitely or probably won’t get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The reasons for vaccine skepticism are varied and speak to the powerful psychological forces that inform our experience of the pandemic.

The Food and Drug Administration released an analysis of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday morning that supports its authorization for emergency use.

On Friday, a panel of advisers to the agency will meet to evaluate the vaccine and make a recommendation about whether it should be given the OK. If the agency goes on to authorize the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, it would be the third, after those made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, to become available in the U.S.

A national health care provider has administered COVID-19 vaccinations to people deemed ineligible for the scarce vaccine by local health departments, including people with connections to company leaders and customers of its concierge medical service, according to internal communications leaked to NPR.

In 2001, Maurine Murenga was pregnant and HIV-positive. She was living in Kenya, and a counselor encouraged her to fill out a memory book. She wrote directions to her village, details about her family so that when she died, someone would know where to bury her and where to send her child.

"It was nothing like preparing," says Murenga. "It was actually preparing us for death."

The combined efforts of the City of Cleveland, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health and MetroHealth System have already gotten the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to 100 people at the largest homeless shelter in Ohio — and hundreds more are at the ready.

MetroHealth received about 1,000 vaccine doses for the effort, which began Friday at the Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry Men’s Shelter and will completely vaccinate 500 people, said MetroHealth family physician Dr. Michael Seidman.

Two COVID-19 vaccines are being distributed in the U.S. right now, and this week an FDA advisory committee will vote on whether a third should join them.

If granted emergency use authorization, Johnson & Johnson's one-dose vaccine would become available in the U.S., along with those from Pfizer and Moderna.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine gives a press conference from his home in Cedarville.
Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

Gov. Mike DeWine is sending a letter to all Ohio's nursing homes to make sure they're clear on the federal government's guidelines for visitations, which remain heavily restricted nearly a year into the pandemic.

A nurse prepares a Moderna vaccination at a Columbus vaccine clinic.
Dan Konik / Ohio Public Radio

There are 16 states that allow cancer survivors to get priority status for COVID-19 vaccines, but Ohio is not currently one of them.

White House officials on Friday confirmed the extent of the weather's chilling effect on COVID-19 vaccine distribution, saying this week's storms created a backlog of some 6 million doses affecting all 50 states.

That number represents three days' worth of delayed shipments, said Andy Slavitt, senior adviser on the White House COVID-19 Response Team. He added that many states have been able to cover some of the delay with their existing inventory, and that the Biden administration expects to make up the backlog shortly.

Crown Pointe Care Center resident Rebecca Meeker, left, receives a COVID-19 vaccine from Dr. Kate Latta, PharmD, Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, in Columbus, Ohio. Meeker was the first long-term care patient in Ohio to receive a vaccine.
Jay LaPrete / Associated Press

WOSU's Letters from Home collects stories about our day-to-day lives during the era of COVID-19. This week, Ohioans write in about the ways the coronavirus vaccines have changed their outlook on the future.

Lila Kills In Sight lost her 81-year-old mother to COVID-19 on Nov. 23.

"I really don't know who to be mad at," she said. "Who do I take my frustration to, how do I deal with it?"

Kills In Sight, an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, is the first to say she's not dealing with it well. She had been keeping her mom sheltered mostly in her home in the remote community of Spring Creek as the pandemic raged in South Dakota. But in September she broke her hip. Then in November she fell.

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