COLUMBUS, Ohio — Gov. Mike DeWine announced Monday that Ohioans 16 and older will be eligible for coronavirus vaccines a week earlier than expected, if local health departments have extra doses they are unable to get rid of otherwise.
DeWine talked about the new policy at his 2 p.m. briefing Monday. He said he made the decision after his weekly discussion with health departments around the state.
DeWine previously had said vaccine eligibility would expand to 16 and up starting on March 29, with Ohioans older than 40 and with qualifying health conditions becoming eligible last Friday. Butlocal , particularly in rural areas, already have been making general appointments available to help them get rid of surplus vaccines, including for walk-ins and people from out of town. News of rural vaccine availability has spread through social media.
DeWine said he wasn’t changing the current eligibility requirements, but giving providers more discretion to use vaccine doses that they otherwise couldn’t use.
As of Sunday, nearly 2.8 million Ohioans had received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, or around 24% of the state’s adult population.