With the new COVID vaccine available in Ohio, health leaders encourage people to get the shot
The director of Ohio's Health Department says the new COVID vaccine is out and should be readily available across the state. Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff says COVID is still a threat, and both cases and hospitalizations are climbing. Vanderhoff says the population most at risk is older Ohioans.
“We know very well from all the data with the vaccines, that there is a very significant protective effect from getting the vaccine," he says. "That population is clearly one that would benefit from the new COVID vaccine."
Gov. Mike DeWine says so far, more than 87,000 Ohioans have gotten the new vaccine. State statistics indicate most of them are at least 60 years old.
DeWine says that also applies to the very young and those with pre-existing health issues. He says you should get the new formulation, whether you've had previous booster shots or not.
"This new vaccine is now appropriate for you, no matter what situation you were in," he says. "And it's particularly appropriate for you if you have underlying health problems, or if you're 60 years of age or older."
Vanderhoff says the shots should be covered for those who have insurance, but there are options for the uninsured, too.
"The Federal Vaccines for Children Program that allows ODH to allow Vaccines Free of Charge to eligible children, will be available through our network of VFC providers," he says. "And for adults who are uninsured, the CDC has created a Bridge Access Program."
Vanderhoff says that bridge program will be in effect until the end of 2024. The state has contracted with several large pharmacies to offer free vaccines to the uninsured.