CEDARVILLE, Ohio — Gov. Mike DeWine just turned 74-years-old on Tuesday. And as he puts it, "I'm an impatient person."
The governor is overseeing the process of getting the COVID-19 vaccine distributed to Ohioans as the state tries to curb the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. During a recent appearance on CNN's State of the Union with Jake Tappe on Sunday, DeWine admitted that while Ohio has received 529,000 coronavirus vaccines, it has only given out more than 160,000 so far.
On Wednesday, DeWine spoke with 3News' Maureen Kyle about the reasons for the delay.
"The problem is we don't have enough vaccine," DeWine said in the interview. "Until we see more streams flowing into Ohio, besides Moderna and Pfizer. We hope the numbers grow from those two. We hope that additional pharmaceutical companies get their vaccine approved so that we move into spring, those numbers (cases and deaths) will go out."
However, because the federal government required Ohio to 'bank the shots,' as DeWine put it, the numbers of doses of vaccines available are misleading. Many are being set aside for the second shot that will be given.
"We need to get this vaccine out as soon as we get it into Ohio. We can't control what we get into Ohio and that's really what the slowdown is going to be," the governor explained.
One of the factors that might help those coronavirus cases get reduced, according to DeWine, is to get those in nursing homes vaccinated. "We started with nursing homes because more than half of the deaths have occurred in our nursing homes from COVID. So if we can get the people in there protected, we know that's going to eliminate a lot of deaths," he added.
As of Sunday, 61% of nursing homes received their first visit from a pharmacy to receive their vaccines -- those who wanted to receive the vaccine were able to get it. But only 40% of staff have been taking the vaccine when it's offered.
Meanwhile, DeWine announced on Tuesday that the vaccination of those in Phase 1B -- which includes adults 65 years or older, those with developmental disorders including Sickle Cell or down syndrome and all teachers and staff at K-12 schools planning to reopen for in-person learning -- will begin in approximately two weeks.
You can watch the entire interview between Gov. DeWine and Maureen Kyle in the player below: