Governor DeWine visits Athens to discuss vaccines

Published: Apr. 12, 2021 at 9:53 PM EDT
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ATHENS, Ohio. (WTAP) - Governor DeWine visited an Ohio University vaccination site to discuss Covid vaccines Monday.

The event kicked off with a few vaccinations. It was on theme with the press conference.

DeWine discussed pressing issues, such as the nation-wide drop in Johnson and Johnson availability due to manufacturing issues. A point of focus was how it would impact his goal of vaccinating all college students interested before summer break.

DeWine said, “As far as the Johnson and Johnson, we have enough Johnson and Johnson for our college students.”

DeWine sees Johnson and Johnson as the key to reaching his vaccination goal for college students across Ohio.

“..., and, to do that, we knew we really had to take the Johnson and Johnson and so we by and large have been able to allocate the Johnson and Johnson to college campuses,” he said.

Looking beyond college, Monday marked vaccine providers getting another green light. Providers can now give up to 25% of their vaccine allocation to vaccinate their own employees. They can also use that 25% to partner with local employers for on-the-job-site clinics. Still, this doesn’t mean the state will start mandating vaccines.

However, employers can.

DeWine said, “This is entirely up to employers. Whether they do that or do not do that, the state is not going to mandate anyone to get the vaccine but employers are making their own decisions about that.”

While vaccine availability is expanding, that doesn’t mean interest is.

“What’s happened in the last week, we’re now seeing a slowing of the demand caused by the fact that already a third of the state has been vaccinated,” he said.

While about 35% of Ohio has been vaccinated, about 23% have been fully vaccinated.

DeWine points to people being hesitant about vaccinations as Ohio’s biggest challenge in the vaccine process.

However, the state has made strides in recent weeks. DeWine pointed out that, with the amount of vaccines Ohio now has access to, the state has been able to encourage local health departments to reach out to colleges, high schools, and businesses, as well as encourage businesses to reach out to vaccine providers.

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