COLUMBUS, Ohio — As Ohio continues to distribute the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine, the state remains in phase 1B, which primarily focuses on people 65-years-old or older.
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According to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, the state plans on remaining in this phase for an extended period of time until the vaccine has been made available to everybody who is at least 65-years-old.
As for what's next, DeWine isn't ready to announce the timetable for the next phase of the coronavirus vaccine distribution. But at his press briefing on Monday, he did reveal that the next group of people who will be given access to the vaccine are those 60 years and older, which will be followed by those 55 years and older and then those 50 years and older.
According to DeWine, those 50 years old and older make up between 97 and 98 percent of COVID-19-related deaths. He also said the state is currently considering certain smaller groups to be added with the 60-and-older group that will be vaccinated next who would be made eligible based on the risk of their exposure.
Asked about the timetable for moving on to the 60-years-and-older group, DeWine said it will be a matter of weeks before the state moves on from its current phase. DeWine said the state won't move forward so long as those who 65-years-old and older are still having a difficult time accessing the vaccine.
"The goal will be to get 65 years age and older vaccinated," DeWine said. "Age is just the best indicator. When you have a scarce product, which unfortunately this vaccine still is, this is the best way to go."
You can watch DeWine's full press briefing in the video below.