Ohio governor urges student-athletes to get vaccinated

Updated: Jun. 18, 2021 at 5:09 PM EDT
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WORTHINGTON, Ohio (WTAP) - Ohio Governor Mike DeWine went to a suburban Columbus high school Friday, to encourage student athletes to get a COVID-19 vaccine in advance of their upcoming sports and school seasons.

“We know that vaccine is our most effective tool to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and our ticket to get back to the way things used to be. For many students, that means getting back to playing sports or being involved in student activities with fewer restrictions. By getting vaccinated students will be protecting themselves and each other,” said Governor DeWine. “The vaccine is our ticket to allow athletes to live up to their dreams and compete.”

Ohio schools were able to hold regular sports seasons during the just-completed 2020-21 school year, even while COVID-19 numbers were rising. But their athletic competitions happened in front of smaller, socially-distant crowds, and some had to be postponed or cancelled due to outbreaks resulting in quarantines.

Joined by high school athletic coaches and administrators, and with a high school team practicing on the field behind him, DeWine noted the request isn’t just for student athletes, it’s for all students – those that are involved in arts, theater, debate.

State health officer, Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, explained that time is right to get vaccinated and be fully protected by the time practices are in full swing.

“We’re encouraging everyone that’s eligible to be vaccinated get vaccinated, said Dr. Vanderhoff. “It’s not just the way we are going to ensure we have the sports seasons, the band seasons, or ensure we have a school play, it’s also because you will be protecting some of the younger students who right now can’t be vaccinated as well as vulnerable people in your community.”

Central Ohio student athletes and coaches joined in the event encouraging other to get vaccinated. A recording of the event, including statements by some of the student athletes and coaches is available on Facebook page

To find a vaccination clinic near your or to schedule and appointment visit

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