CEDARVILLE, Ohio — As Ohio continues the process of distributing the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine, Gov. Mike DeWine shared some good news. The vaccine appears to be cutting down coronavirus cases in long-term care facilities and the state will soon be receiving thousands more doses.
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At his press briefing on Thursday, DeWine announced that the Buckeye State will soon be seeing an increase in the COVID-19 vaccine shipments it receives.
In particular, Gov. DeWine said that officials from Pfizer have told him that Ohio will receive a 40 percent increase in vaccine shipments by mid-February and that the shipments to the Buckeye State are expected to double from their current level by the end of March. Additionally, Moderna also expects its vaccine shipments to Ohio to rise, with 105,200 shipments expected next week.
Ohio currently receives approximately 73,000 vaccine shipments from both Pfizer and Moderna each week.
"The numbers are going to go up according to what the two drug companies told us," DeWine said. "We have hope that Johnson & Johnson is coming on, so we're hopeful that these [vaccination] numbers are going to go up.
"What we don't have the power in Ohio to do is to manufacture the drugs. I can't create more drugs. Drugs are what comes into the state. Everybody knows we want our fair share and I think we're getting our fair share."
Governor DeWine says the more vaccine, the better as it appears to be cutting down on illness.
“The good news is the cases are going down in our nursing homes as we continue to vaccinate people,” said Gov. DeWine. “We are starting to see a significant drop in cases, when we take these cases down in nursing homes, obviously fewer people will be going to the hospital and fewer people are dying."
According to date provided by the state, the majority of nursing homes in Cuyahoga County have zero new cases within the last week.
University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Robyn Strosaker says this is hopeful news.
"Yes, we can contribute some of this to the vaccine, yes the cases in nursing home are going down so that's a very good sign."
Additionally, coronavirus hospitalizations are dropping across the state, which Dr. Strosaker says could be a direct correlation to nursing homes because the elderly are more likely to end up in the hospital.
"If you look at places like say Israel that's done a tremendous job vaccinating their population very quickly the data shows that after a week to two weeks from that second vaccine the rates of covid drop dramatically, so I think we are starting to see that in northeast Ohio."
Additionally on Thursday, DeWine announced Ohio Jobs and Family Services has put together a "Public-Private Partnership Team" consisting of experts from some of the state's top banking and insurance companies to help improve Ohio's unemployment call center, claims process, and fraud detection efforts. DeWine said the goal of the team is to provide quick action amid the pandemic while keeping an eye on its best long-term processes.