More vaccines are coming to Ohio this week – including Fayette County – and more Ohioans will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 shot.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced the new eligibility categories at his Monday press conference. Phase 1C will include expansions for medical conditions and occupations, and Phase 2 will expand eligibility to anyone 60 or older.
Eligibility for Phase 1C and Phase 2 will begin this Thursday, March 4. Fayette County Public Health (FCPH) has opened registration for these new age groups, but will not begin scheduling appointments until after the new eligibility begins.
Johnson & Johnson received an Emergency Use Authorization from the Food & Drug Administration on Sunday. The single-dose shot, which has been recommended for age 18 and older by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is now starting to ship.
Ohio will get 96,100 doses in the first week. Of those, 300 are coming to FCPH.
Specifics for the new Phase 1C eligibility categories were laid out as follows:
Childcare – administrators, lead and assistant teachers, and substitutes in Ohio’s Professional Registry who are currently working in open childcare and pre-kindergarten programs. Licensing specialists employed by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services or county Job and Family Services agencies.
Funeral services – Embalmer/morticians, funeral home directors, crematory operators, and apprentices.
Law enforcement & corrections – Sworn law enforcement operators and peace operators, who have first responder or direct supervisory responsibilities. These persons must be active duty, i.e. a regular minimum of 20 hours a week. This does not include retired, “special,” or reserve persons.
Corrections staff, including probation and parole staff, who provide direct services to an adult or juvenile inmate or a court-supervised individual.
Firefighters – Individuals who have a valid, active, firefighting certificate in the state of Ohio who are active members or employees of a recognized Ohio fire department. This does not include retired, emeritus, or reserve individuals.
Governor DeWine announced that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be shipped to more than 200 independent pharmacies around the state. Most of these pharmacies had not yet received any vaccine. They’ll also go to local hospitals, health departments, and chain pharmacies.
DeWine said about 200,000 school employees received the vaccine ahead of Monday’s deadline for the resumption of in-person learning, out of about 300,000 employees.
More than 1.6 million people in Ohio, or 14% of the population, have received at least one dose of the vaccine as of Monday, according to the state Health Department. Ohio now has about 1,200 vaccine locations, and the governor said an announcement is coming soon about more mass vaccination sites.
The 7-day rolling average of daily new cases in Ohio did not increase over the past two weeks, going from 2,733 new cases per day on Feb. 14 to 1,951 new cases per day on Feb. 28, according to an Associated Press analysis of date provided by The COVID Tracking Project.
Also Monday, DeWine made reference to the pandemic as he commemorated Ohio Statehood Day. Ohio became the 17th state of the United States of America in 1803, and March 1 is the day that the state’s General Assembly met for the first time.
“Although year 217 was a tough one, we’re on the road to a better 218th year,” DeWine tweeted.
For more information, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.