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City of Cleveland announces it has received 6,500 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, but has distributed only 1,767 so far

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson pointed to the lack of infrastructure as the primary reason for the slow rollout.

CLEVELAND — Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson held a virtual news conference on Tuesday to provide details on the city's response to COVID-19 and plans for vaccine distribution.

According to Cleveland Public Health Interim Director Brian Kimball, the city has received 6,500 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine so far. However, it has only given out 1,767 as of Tuesday. 

"There's no infrastructure for this," explained Jackson when asked why the rollout is going slowly. "There are pronouncements made at the federal and state level as to what should be done, then it's left to local communities to build an infrastructure to do that. Our intent is to do it and do it right." 

Jackson also pointed out the lack of availability of the vaccine to meet the demand.

Kimball said on December 24, the city began its Phase 1a program, giving the vaccine to healthcare workers, first responders, and long term care workers. Between December 24 and December 29, 660 people were vaccinated. 

In addition, the city is using Public Auditorium as a point of distribution (POD) for giving out the vaccine. Jackson and Kimball say the city will also utilize mobile pods for getting doses to those who are homebound or have mobile challenges. There are roughly 280 congregate facilities with 2,600 residents and employees to be vaccinated.

On January 21, Kimball says the city will start administering the second dose of the vaccine to those in the Phase 1a program. In the meantime, the city is beginning its preparations for the Phase 1b program, which includes those over 65 and employees of K-12 schools that plan to return to in-person learning per the state's plan. 

On Monday night, the city reported 236 new coronavirus cases and 4 new fatalities, bringing the total to 21,153 cases and 195 fatalities.

Meanwhile, Gov. Mike DeWine is planning on holding Ohio's COVID-19 briefing at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon.

You can watch Mayor Frank Jackson's entire briefing in the player below:

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