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Next group to get vaccine in Ohio will be 60 and older

Although it will be a while before many Ohioans younger than 65 years old will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. Mike DeWine said the next group will be those at least 60 years of age.

“We are going to hold at 65 years old until we’re clear people have been able to get their shots in that age group,” he said Monday.

As of Monday, 59.61 percent of those 80 years and older in the state had received at least the first dose of the two-dose vaccine with 49.91 percent of those age 75 to 79, 37.29 percent of those 70 to 74 years old, and 23.43 percent of those 65 to 69 years of age, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

“Age is the top indicator of the likelihood of death from COVID-19; 87 percent of all deaths in Ohio are of those ages 65 and older,” DeWine said. “As we move forward in our vaccination plan, we will hold at age 65 and older until we have satisfied the vaccine demand in this age group.”

DeWine said he doesn’t know what percentage of people at least 65 years old getting the vaccine will trigger lowering the age.

“We’re not going to move it if those 65 years of age and older are having trouble getting vaccinated,” he said.

He added: “It’s a matter of weeks, whether it’s three weeks or four weeks. I’m not setting a date.”

When the age goes down to 60, DeWine said the state “may look at certain smaller groups because of exposure,” but declined to disclose who might be eligible.

“It’s best not to speculate,” he said.

After 60, the age would drop to 55 and then to 50, he said.

“Those 50 and older make up 97 to 98 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in Ohio,” DeWine said.

The state is finishing up vaccinating adult staff at K-12 schools, he said.

The state also permits vaccinations for those living and working at nursing homes and assisted-living facilities as well as those with certain medical conditions. It previously allowed health care workers and emergency medical responders to be eligible.

The vaccinations of certain populations started Dec. 14 in Ohio.

Meanwhile, DeWine said Monday he expects to allow 30 percent capacity at live outdoor sporting events next month with face mask compliance and social distancing.

He said 30 percent is “a logical place to start.”

Regarding sporting events, DeWine said: “Inside is tougher than outside.”

He’ll comment further later this week.

COVID-19 DATA

The state reported 1,611 new COVID-19 cases Monday, a day after 1,461 cases were reported.

That number is the lowest two-day total in Ohio since 2,877 cases were reported Oct. 12 to 13.

The 1,611 cases Monday also is fewer than the daily average of 2,681 during the past 21 days, according to the ODH.

Overall, the state has 955,378 COVID-19 cases with 889,959 presumed recovered and 16,874 deaths.

That includes 98 new deaths reported Monday, with one each in Mahoning and Trumbull counties.

Mahoning County had 19,183 total cases as of Monday with 17,713 presumed recovered and 532 deaths, according to the ODH.

The state reported 14,076 total COVID-19 cases in Trumbull County as of Monday with 12,973 presumed recovered and 449 fatalities.

Columbiana County had 8,029 total COVID-19 cases as of Monday with 7,453 presumed recovered and 177 deaths.

VACCINATIONS

The state had given at least the first dose of the two-dose vaccines to 1,451,107 people, 12.41 percent of Ohio’s population, as of 6 a.m. Monday with 11,395 vaccinations given in the previous 24 hours, according to the ODH.

In Mahoning County, 14.94 percent of the population (34,159 people) had received at least the first dose compared to 12.68 percent in Trumbull County (25,112 people) and 12.39 percent in Columbiana County (12,627 people), according to the ODH.

Also, 675,105 people in Ohio, 5.78 percent of the state’s population, had received both doses of the vaccine as of Monday, including 16,818 people in the past 24 hours.

In Mahoning County, 6.03 percent of the population (13,791 people) had received both doses, and 5.64 percent of the population in Trumbull (11,169 people) and 4.77 percent of the population in Columbiana (4,850 people) had both doses as of Monday.

dskolnick@tribtoday.com

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