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DeWine: Vaccine likely on way if approved, but availability will be slim

There are too many unknown variables to say when members of the general public will have access to a vaccination, Gov. Mike DeWine said today during a special briefing on expected coronavirus vaccines.

The state is expected to have access to 98,000 doses of the vaccine Dec. 15, if the federal government approves the Pfizer vaccine, DeWine said.

The first doses of the vaccine will be focused on health care workers working directly with COVID-19 patients and people living in and taking care of those in nursing homes, where mortality after catching the virus is the greatest risk, DeWine said.

But, because the supply is limited it will take time for everyone in the top priority for vaccination to receive the vaccine.

Moderna is expected to release on Dec. 22, if approval is granted, 201,900 doses, and a few days later 89,000. More shipments are expected from Pfizer and Moderna, but amounts are not finalized.

Both vaccines require a second dose, but the person has to wait three to four weeks between the shots. So, shipments in January are expected to go toward second doses, DeWine said, and that is when the state will actually start to see people gaining immunity.

After three weeks into distribution, health care workers will be administering second doses and first doses simultaneously, DeWine said.

Read Saturday’s Tribune Chronicle and The Vindicator for more information from DeWine’s press conference.

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