Starting next week, college students in Ohio will be able to receive their vaccine through their universities according to an announcement made by Gov. Mike DeWine.
Johnson & Johnson doses will be given to students in an effort to fully vaccinate them prior to their spring terms ending.
Gov. DeWine rationalized this decision by pointing out that college students will soon begin heading back to their hometowns after their semester ends. By vaccinating students, Ohio can raise the number of vaccinated residents fairly quickly by partnering with universities, DeWine said.
The governor believes that by vaccinating students with their peers, this will encourage young adults to get their vaccine by making the process simple and quick by only requiring one dose.
Currently, there are no universities in the state that are requiring vaccinations for students to come back in the fall.
Further reasoning behind this choice, DeWine said, stems from younger adults not getting as sick as older adults. Students also still can cause significant virus spread due to the increased amount of socialization done in that age group. The governor hopes to minimize this result by prioritizing vaccinations in those populations.
Businesses will also be given the chance to partner with healthcare systems to get their employees vaccinated. Beginning on April 12, any vaccine provider can take up to 25 percent of their allotted doses for that week and partner with a local business to administer those vaccines to willing employees. Gov. DeWine stated that “doing it on the shop floor” will increase the likelihood of employees getting their shots.
The rate of cases in the state has climbed since last week from hovering around 150 to now reaching 167.1 cases per 100,000 people.
Case numbers increased in 56 of Ohio’s 88 counties with most still sitting at red or orange on the Ohio Public Health Advisory Systems map. However, seven of the remaining counties did drop this week.
Gov. DeWine further doubled down on his promise to look into Vinton County’s drinking water problems when he was asked about his thoughts on the infrastructure plans put out by the Biden Administration. He highlighted areas in need of help including internet connectivity, lead paint removal, and clean drinking water.
“Fran and I were in Vinton County and they told us about a community of people that when they get their water out of their well, it looks like it’s Coca-Cola. We have too many people in Ohio who do not have access to good water,” explained the governor.
After being asked about the subject multiple times during the press conference, Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted held steadfast on his decision to call COVID-19 the “Wuhan Virus” in a recent tweet, stating that multiple people are asking about the origins of the virus and that his words were “directed at what I believe is a probable cover-up by the Chinese government”. He then called for an independent investigation on the subject.
This stems from an article included in the tweet about the former CDC director Robert Redfield and his unfounded assertions that the virus had escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
The World Health Organization traveled to Wuhan and concluded that it was “extremely unlikely” that the virus had originated in that lab and was likely caused when the virus jumped from one species, possibly a bat, to humans.
Vaccine passports are not in the works for Ohio currently according to the governor.
“We have no plan to require a vaccine passport to do things,” said DeWine.
With some family members vaccinated and others not, Chief Medical Officer at the Ohio Department of Health Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff advised Ohioans mask up and social distancing during any Easter celebrations that take place outside their own personal bubble.