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Columbus Mayor Joins Gov. DeWine For First Nursing Home COVID-19 Vaccination

Crown Pointe Care Center resident Rebecca Meeker, left, receives a COVID-19 vaccine from Dr. Kate Latta, PharmD, Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, in Columbus, Ohio. Meeker was the first long-term care patient in Ohio to receive a vaccine.
Jay LaPrete
/
Associated Press
Crown Pointe Care Center resident Rebecca Meeker, left, receives a COVID-19 vaccine from Dr. Kate Latta, PharmD, Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, in Columbus, Ohio. Meeker was the first long-term care patient in Ohio to receive a vaccine.

Early Friday morning, Mayor Andrew Ginther joined Gov. Mike DeWine at Crown Pointe Care Center in Columbus to mark the expansion of Ohio’s vaccination efforts into long-term care facilities.

The first shot, administered around 7:30 a.m., came so fast that DeWine almost missed it as he stood outside watching the live feed on a monitor. DeWine said he’s unsure when vaccinations will be done for 350,000 residents and staff in long-term care facilities.

“We certainly would hope to be by the end of January but we really don’t know," DeWine said. "We’ll have a lot better idea, frankly, after the first week and see how fast this process is going.”

Nursing home residents and staff are receiving the vaccine through private pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS under a federal CDC program.

Even as he celebrated the initiative, Ginther emphasized the importance of continuing to wear masks, maintaining distance and limiting social interactions in order to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While the vaccine gives us long-term hope in our battle against COVID-19,” Ginther said, “we must do our very best and recommit ourselves to protect those close to us in our communities.”

Ginther said it’s important to inoculate nursing home residents and staff because of how the virus has spread within the facilities.

“We all know that our long-term care facilities have been some of the hardest-hit from this pandemic: 325 workers and residents in long term care facilities just here in our community have lost their lives to the virus," Ginther said.

All told, DeWine expects the state will receive almost 700,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the year. DeWine said that Ohio hasn't seen or been advised that smaller shipments are coming, as some states have reported, but admits it's uncertain that they'll get those shots until they actually arrive.