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Gov. Mike DeWine Visits Ohio State To Encourage Student Vaccinations

Mike and Fran DeWine speaking with a student at OSU's COVID-19 vaccination clinic.
Nick Evans
Gov. Mike DeWine and First Lady Fran DeWine visited students at Ohio State's vaccination clinic Monday

At the Ohio State University Schottenstein Center on Monday, Gov. Mike DeWine spoke with students waiting for their COVID-19 vaccines. First Lady Fran DeWine came along, too, toting a basket of individually-wrapped homemade buckeye brownies that she handed out to each patient.

One student, eager for her shot, said she wanted to be able to see her grandmother. DeWine said that sounded familiar.

“We’ve been going around the state, different places, and I think the common theme is, ‘I want to see somebody,’” DeWine said.

A second later, Fran had her phone out, showing off two grandchildren and explaining they were the reason she and her husband got their shots.

As case counts start to inch up around Ohio, the governor is working to build a sense of urgency around vaccinations. This statewide tour part of that effort, with more than 50 Ohio colleges and universities starting on-campus vaccination clinics this week.

Governor DeWine speaking with reporters alongside First Lady Fran DeWine and OSU President Kristina Johnson
Nick Evans
Governor DeWine speaking with reporters alongside First Lady Fran DeWine (left) and OSU President Kristina Johnson

DeWine describes the current moment as a race between inoculations and infections. That’s why he’s cleared the way for workplace vaccination drives starting next week.

“It’s an opportunity to expand the percentage of people who are getting the vaccine," DeWine said. "We have to do everything we can to take it to the people of the state in a way that is convenient to them.”

Ohio State was quick to take him up on the offer—the university will set aside a quarter of its vaccine doses for students staff and faculty.

Matthew Hamada came to Ohio State from Los Angeles for the school’s ROTC program. Hamada says his dad has gotten vaccinated but his mother, who is immunocompromised, is still working on finding a shot.

“So part of the reason why I want to get mine is so that once I do travel home she’s safe and everything like that,” he says.

Nick Evans was a reporter at WOSU's 89.7 NPR News. He spent four years in Tallahassee, Florida covering state government before joining the team at WOSU.