Ohio expands vaccine eligibility starting Thursday

Published: Mar. 8, 2021 at 2:14 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVG) - Gov. Mike DeWine announced Ohio is expanding vaccine eligibility to include additional groups starting this week.

Ohioans aged 50 and older, as well as those with type 2 diabetes or end-stage renal disease, will be able to get their shots starting Thursday under phase 1D and 2B of Ohio’s vaccine rollout.

Gov. DeWine announced the changes during his bi-weekly coronavirus briefing on Monday. The move comes after health commissioners requested state officials lower the eligibility age. DeWine said the state will move forward with phase 2B based on age because of the increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 for older populations.

The changes come as the state unveiled its new vaccine scheduling tool on Monday in an effort to make it easier for Ohioans to find an appointment. The central scheduling system shows appointments across providers in one spot. Users can search for nearby providers by zip code. It also gives updates and reminders.

DeWine said the new scheduling tool will be used for booking appointments at the twelve permanent mass vaccination clinics coming to Ohio in the coming weeks, including sites in Maumee and Lima.

The ramp-up in vaccination efforts comes as the state plans to mark the one-year anniversary of the first reported case of coronavirus in Ohio. DeWine is set to sign a proclamation marking a day of remembrance in Ohio tomorrow, ordering flags across the state to be lowered in honor of the lives lost to the virus.

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