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All Staff And Residents In Dayton Nursing Home Get COVID-19 Vaccine

Crown Pointe Care Center resident Rebecca Meeker, left, receives a COVID-19 vaccine from Dr. Kate Latta, PharmD, Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, in Columbus, Ohio. Meeker was the first long-term care patient in Ohio to receive a vaccine.
Jay LaPrete
Associated Press

More than half of nursing home workers have refused the vaccine but at least one Ohio nursing home is beating the odds.

Ohio appears to have hundreds of thousands of vaccines it hasn’t used. That's partly because of low vaccination rates among nursing home workers. In Ohio, fewer than half of Ohio’s nursing home workers statewide have elected to take the vaccine.

The Grafton Oaks Nursing Center is an outlier. Administrator Lisa Hamilton was able to convince 100% of the residents and workers at that facility to get the vaccine. She started talking to them early and spent a lot of time answering their questions.

But she says she made it clear that everyone on the care team was expected to get it.

“But, at the end of the day, this is what we are doing. And it worked," Hamilton says.

Gov. Mike DeWine says he’s asked the federal government to allow some of the doses that were initially designated for nursing home workers to be available to the state to use for other populations. He says it 77,000 vaccines have been freed from this pool. Those doses will be divided equally among this week and next.

DeWine says he doesn’t want to mandate the vaccine for nursing home workers but he has moved on to the 1B group so many senior citizens are now ,or soon will be, eligible to get the vaccine.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.