COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine on Thursday made a big announcement regarding the continuation of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Ohio.
DeWine said on Thursday that, beginning on January 19, the coronavirus vaccine will be available to individuals 80-years of age and older.
The new step is part 1B of the state's phased plan to vaccinate any Ohioan who is interested in receiving immunization against COVID-19. The Governor said that the current plan is to offer the vaccine in a step-like pattern, offering the vaccine to those 75 and older beginning on January 25, 70 years and older February 1, and so on.
"On Jan 25th, we anticipate vaccinations will open up to those 75 years old and older. The following week it will open to people 70 and older, and the February 8th, the vaccinations will be available to those 65 and older," the Governor wrote on Twitter.
DeWine said on Thursday that he expects the first several weeks of distribution to have roughly 100,000 doses portioned for elderly-Ohioans.
DeWine also announced that they hope to make the coronavirus vaccine readily available to Ohioans with congenital diseases and pre-existing conditions on January 25. DeWine did not immediately note how that would work, but that he would address this process next week.
In February, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) also plans to vaccinate Ohioans who work in schools as an effort to get children back in classrooms by March.
The Governor sat down with 3News' Maureen Kyle earlier this week to talk about his hope to have students return to in-person classes soon.
"We're going to send a letter out this week asking schools to sign it if they agree to be open," DeWine explained. "Many schools are still open, they've never shut. Some have been hybrid, others haven't opened at all. But for them to have their employees be eligible for a shot, they're going to have to say that they're going to open up."
The governor says that urgency is key due to the 'significant consequences' involved with Ohio students not being in school.
"This is aspirational. This is what our goal is. We are going to try to do that. But everything is dependent upon how much vaccine we get each week," DeWine said.
You can watch that full interview in the player below: