More Ohioans waiting for COVID vaccines get their chance Thursday

Posted at 10:18 PM, Mar 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-08 23:08:17-05

Come Thursday, it will be Regina Carswell Russo's turn to try for a COVID-19 vaccine.

The mother of two leads RRight Now Communications, which was hired to help local health leaders connect the community to pandemic resources, including the vaccine.

"What I'm waiting for is that sigh of relief,” she said.

For the past year, like many of us, Carswell Russo just wanted to make herself and those around her feel safe.

"I'm getting the vaccine for my family," she said. "I'm getting the vaccine, so my kids can breathe a sigh of relief and they can see their relatives and they can live more openly."

TIMELINE: When Ohioans can get their COVID vaccine

Monday's announcement from Governor Mike DeWine came after his conversations with health directors around the state.

"A number of them requested that we lower the age, that we broaden who is eligible,” he said. “Some of the counties, frankly, were still having vaccine left over at the end of the week."

Now, those 50 and older will become eligible for the shot, but that doesn't mean they'll get it right away.

"Just because we are lowering the age and we're widening that path for more people to have access to this vaccine, there's still people who are in that older group who still need access,” DeWine said.

Resolving that issue is one of the goals of her company's client, the regional COVID communication center, launched last June in preparation for this stage of recovery. She takes comfort in knowing that as supply ramps up, more will get their shot at some peace of mind.

"Now, we are coming to a point in this pandemic, where we can see a light at the end of the tunnel,” Carswell Russo said.

DeWine says there are about 1.2 million Ohioans between 50 and 59. Those with type 2 diabetes and end-stage renal disease also become eligible Thursday.