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DeWine: Teachers, school staff among those who can get COVID-19 vaccine in next phase of rollout

Posted at 1:57 PM, Dec 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-23 17:10:40-05

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said people aged 65 or older and teachers and school staff members across Ohio will be among those who have access to a COVID-19 vaccine in the next phase of the rollout.

According to state data, 87% of Ohio's COVID-19 deaths were people 65 years old or older.

"We looked at where to draw the line, and it was clear that these were the people who were most at risk," DeWine said.

DeWine said officials still had not decided how to roll out vaccinations to seniors across the state, whether it will be in a lump to all people 65 and older, or if it will be phased in, starting with older age brackets, such as 80 or older, first and then moving downward.

DeWine also said he hopes the vaccine will be available to school staff by "mid-January," with the hope of getting school children who wish to return back to the classroom by March 1.

DeWine did not elaborate on much of the logistical plan for distributing vaccines to Ohio schools, but he did say in order for a school to receive vaccinations for its staff, it must be doing so toward the goal of reopening classrooms to full-time, in-person instruction as soon as possible.

The first two groups to receive access to the coronavirus vaccines -- provided first by Pfizer and then by Moderna -- were frontline medical staff and people administering and receiving care at congregate facilities like nursing homes.

DeWine characterized it as a "difficult position" to have to decide who among the other essential workers throughout Ohio's communities and economies would receive the next round of access to vaccination.

Watch DeWine's full remarks here:

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine gives coronavirus pandemic update, Dec. 23, 2020