COLUMBUS, Ohio — Vaccine age requirements will remain for the near future, but the state is open to changing requirements as more people are vaccinated, Gov. Mike DeWine said at a Monday news conference.
The question I asked today came from a fellow reporter at WCPO. They wanted to know if or when DeWine would take Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley’s suggestion and get rid of age requirements.
In his answer, DeWine repeated a familiar refrain: Vaccinating by age group saves the most lives while vaccines are still scarce.
“The fact is that age is by far the biggest indicator," he said. "So we talked about 65 years of age and older representing 87 percent of the deaths in the state from COVID.
“If we go to 50, which we’ve done, which we’ll do on Thursday, open that up to 50. People 50 years of age and older account for, I think, 97% or 98% of the deaths. So it is just the best indicator and it’s so important that we don’t get sidetracked.”
DeWine also noted that there have been exceptions for the age groups, like nurses and teachers, that needed to get vaccinated to staff hospitals and get Ohio’s children back in school.
DeWine also announced at the news conference that Ohioans 50 and older can get vaccinated starting Thursday, March 11. The past weeks have seen a considerable increase in the number of Ohioans eligible for vaccination after staying at those 65 and older for most of February.
Nathan Hart is a Statehouse News Bureau fellow who works in Columbus to tell stories that affect people here in Cincinnati. He also attends Gov. Mike DeWine's press briefings. If you have a question you would like Hart to ask DeWine, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.