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Vaccine Demand Remains High As Eligibility Expands To Ohio 16 And Up

Columbus residents line up for their COVID-19 vaccination at St. John Arena on Ohio State's campus on March 19, 2021.
Darrin McDonald

Vaccine eligibility opened up Monday for everyone in Ohio age 16 or older.

Columbus Public Health opened up registration Friday morning at 8 a.m. with 7,200 spots available, and the spots were all filled hours later.

“By 1:30 (p.m.), five-and-a half hours, those slots were all full," says Dr. Mysheika Roberts, Columbus City Health Commissioner.

She says they might be able to open up more slots this week, and are hoping they fill up just as fast.

“I’m hoping we keep this kind of demand at least for the first few weeks of having everyone 16 and older eligible," she says. "We want to get as many people in our community vaccinated as we can.”

About 20% of Franklin County residents have gotten the shot so far.

"Thus far, the data shows about 250,000 residents of Franklin County have been vaccinated. We’ve got a population of 1.3 million, so we’ve got a ways to go," Roberts adds.

That will likely mean a repeat of Friday's scramble to sign up for the shot.

"We’re probably a good four-six weeks away where you could just easily sign up at any point and get a vaccine the next day. We’re not quite there yet," Roberts says.

Roberts says while health departments are the "mega vaccination clinics" for the area, hospitals, pharmacies, grocery stores, and federal clinics are also offering the shots.