COLUMBUS, Ohio — EDITOR'S NOTE: The attached video originally aired on Sept. 23, 2021.
More than half of all Ohioans have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) reported Wednesday.
The milestone comes about a week after Gov. Mike DeWine announced new vaccine incentives for the state's younger population.
During a news conference on Sept. 23, DeWine laid out the state's new "Vax to School" program, aimed at Ohioans between the ages of 12-25 years old.
Any vaccinated Ohioan within that age group will soon be able to enter a drawing, earning the chance to win one of five $100,000 scholarships, or one of 50 scholarships worth $10,000 apiece.
As of Wednesday, the state's coronavirus website reported the following vaccination rates:
- Ohioans of all ages: 50.04%
- Ohioans 12+: 58.49%
- Ohioans 18+: 60.65%
Experts say an estimated rate of 70-85% is needed to effectively achieve herd immunity.
The spread of COVID-19 continues to be high across the state, with a testing positivity rate of 12.5% — more than double the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) threshold of 5%.
However, after a spike that has largely been attributed to the highly contagious delta variant, the state seems to be once again approaching a plateau.
- 6,463 new cases, which is just below the 21-day average of 6,600. That number also is 400 fewer than last Wednesday.
- 298 new hospitalizations, which is above the 21-day average of 254
- 25 new ICU admissions, which is just above the 21-day average of 22. The total COVID-19 patients in ICUs is down to 977.
- Total COVID-19 patients on ventilators is down to 645.
- Total patients in hospitals down to 3,684
- 7,131 vaccinations started