‘It was truly a moment of hope:’ First medical professionals in Ohio vaccinated against coronavirus

Medical professionals across Ohio are beginning to receive coronavirus vaccines, Gov. Mike DeWine said.

“We started the process of vaccinating them against this terrible disease,” DeWine said. “It was truly a moment of hope. The way I look at it, every day somewhere in the state of Ohio someone will be getting vaccinated, they’ll be getting the opportunity not to get COVID-19.”

The first month, Ohio is expected to receive about 660,000 doses of the vaccine and is expected to receive the same amount in about a month. DeWine said he expects herd immunity will take a long time. He didn’t offer a date for when the vaccine would be available for the general public.

“People should be realistic about this, you can be happy about this and celebrate this, but it will take months to reach herd immunity,” He said. “It can’t come soon enough for me, it can’t come soon enough for the state. Every shot we put in an arm has the potential to be life-saving.”

DeWine said he will get his vaccine on a press conference when it is his turn. Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said he expected he was low priority for the vaccine, but planned to get it as soon as he can.

Tomorrow, eight hospitals, including Mercy Health in Springfield will receive vaccines. The Centers for Disease Control has approved Ohio for vaccine doses in nursing homes, DeWine said. Starting this Friday, vaccines will be distributed around nursing homes.

The state will launch a vaccine dashboard in a few days, DeWine said.

Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, chief medical officer for the Ohio Department of Health said that those who have been vaccinated should continue to wear masks and social distance.

“As of right now, the vaccine is incredibly effective at protecting the individual who received it,” Vanderhoff said. “The CDC is still going through the process with the FDA of studying the impact of the vaccine of protecting other people, but we’re very optimistic for the prospects for it, just giving how effective it has been protecting the individual.”

DeWine said that companies have to work to schedule distributing the vaccines to the nursing homes.

Ohio reported 7,875 daily cases Monday, dropping below the 8,000 mark for the first time since Dec. 6, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

Dr. Andy Thomas with the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center said that 30 people at the medical center were vaccinated today. DeWine said the medical center received 975 doses of the vaccine.

Thomas said that they are beginning to vaccinate their high-risk employees and plan to continue.

Dr. Mercy Dixon, an emergency room resident at the Wexner Medical Center received the shot.

Dr. Rick Lofgren, president and CEO of University of Cincinnati Health said that they were able to vaccinate 20 individuals that work with high-risk patients today.

“There was a lot of joy,” he said.

Kaitlin Kaufman, a respiratory therapist at UC Health also got vaccinated today. She currently works at the cardiovascular unit at the UC hospital.

“Since the beginning, we’ve been at the bedside,” she said.

Kaufman said the vaccine felt similar to a flu shot.

Last week, the state reported more than 10,000 cases for five straight days, resulting in the 21-day average to briefly tip over 10,000 cases.

As of Monday, Ohio has reported 570,602 total cases with an average of 9,871 cases a day. The state’s seven-day positivity rate is 15.2% as of Saturday.

“This may look like a plateau, but we can’t be sure yet.” DeWine said. “On Mondays, our numbers aren’t exactly what they are during the rest of the week. This would be the highest day a month ago.”

30 of Ohio’s 88 counties show case rates over 1,000, DeWine said. Darke, Warren, Miami and Butler Counties all made the top 20 highest case rates.

The state recorded just under 300 hospitalizations for a total of 32,264. There are 5,157 COVID-19 patients in Ohio hospitals.

In the last two weeks, the state’s hospitals have had more than 5,000 coronavirus patients for 13 days, according to the ODH. Similarly, in southwest Ohio hospitals, coronavirus inpatients were above 1,200 for 13 of the last 14 days.

There are 254 COVID-19 patients in the region’s ICUs and 206 on ventilators.

DeWine said the number of patients on a ventilator has more than doubled in the last month.

Coronavirus patients account for 1,268 (17.64%) of southwest Ohio’s hospital beds, with 2,255 (31.36%) available. COVID-19 patients in the ICU account for 22.4% of the regions beds with278 (24.34%) of ICU beds open.

Ohio recorded 59 deaths Monday, for a total of 7,551 throughout the pandemic.

Gov. Mike DeWine will provide an update on Ohio’s response to the coronavirus pandemic at 3 p.m. today.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted hold a press conference to give an update on the status of the Coronavirus response in Ohio.

Posted by Ohio Channel on Monday, December 14, 2020

DeWine gave a brief statement this morning as Ohio received its first batches of the coronavirus vaccine. Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and UC Health were the first two hospitals in the state to receive and administer the vaccine.

“This is a very exciting day for Ohio,” he said. “It’s the day that starts the process toward the end of the pandemic. The end is a long way off, but the end is in sight.”

On Thursday, DeWine announced the extension of a statewide curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. through Jan. 2.

He called the few weeks “critical” in Ohio’s battle against the pandemic, as the state continued to report approximately 10,000 cases a day.

About the Authors