CEDARVILLE, Ohio — As the COVID-19 vaccine distribution process continues in Ohio, one of the key areas of focus is the state's nursing homes.
As of Sunday, 61% of nursing homes in Ohio 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.
On Wednesday, Gov. Mike DeWine was asked about whether the state will mandate that nursing home staff receive the coronavirus vaccine during an interview with 3News's Maureen Kyle.
"Nursing homes can do that if they want to, make it mandatory. We have not statewide mandated the vaccine, that's not generally how we do things in Ohio," DeWine explained.
The governor says that those in a nursing home will receive a second chance to get a vaccine shortly. "If you did not get one when it came through the first time, or if you're still waiting for the first time to occur, we would urge you that that is your protection," DeWine said.
DeWine also urged Ohioans that if they have a relative in a nursing home to please talk to them and ask them to take the vaccine. He emphasized that more than half of the COVID-caused deaths in Ohio have been residents at nursing homes.
For those nursing home staff members, DeWine had a similar plea. "This is your ticket to getting your life back. Get a shot because it helps to not only protect you, but the people who live in those nursing homes that you're caring for every single day."
More coverage of Gov. DeWine with Maureen Kyle:
You can watch Gov. DeWine's entire interview with Maureen Kyle in the player below: