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Gov. Mike DeWine to Ohio's COVID-19 vaccine providers: Don't turn away people with at-risk conditions

The governor also asked providers to make sure that they are providing the proper data about the patients they are vaccinating so no groups get left behind.

CEDARVILLE, Ohio — There was plenty of optimism expressed by Gov. Mike DeWine during his COVID-19 briefing on Thursday. As the state continues to roll out the vaccine, the numbers are falling in many key areas, including the positivity rate and cases. 

However, the governor did make a few pleas to the more than 1,000 providers of the coronavirus vaccine across the state during his remarks. 

DeWine asked providers to make sure that they are providing the proper data about the patients they are vaccinating so no groups get left behind. "One of the goals in getting the vaccine out is equity, fairness as far as race, poverty. All of these things are very important," DeWine said. 

The governor says the state needs to know if a Phase 1B vaccine recipient is getting a dose because of age (65 or older), an at-risk condition, or if they are a teacher or school staff member. 

DeWine said the other problem the state has noticed in this recent rollout is that people with at-risk conditions have been turned away by providers. He pointed to a specific example of a person with cystic fibrosis being denied the vaccine. 

According to the Ohio Department of Health, individuals with the following conditions face a significantly higher risk for adverse COVID-19 outcomes:

  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Down syndrome
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Spina bifida
  • People born with severe heart defects requiring regular specialized medical care
  • Those with severe type 1 diabetes who have been hospitalized in the past year

The entire list of conditions can be seen in the tweet below:

"When someone comes in that fits those conditions, they have a right to get that vaccine. That's despite the fact that they are not 65 years of age or older." DeWine said.

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