Starting Friday, Cancer Patients Finally Eligible For COVID-19 Vaccine In Ohio
Advocates for cancer patients have been pushing for them to be added to Ohio's list of groups eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. They can get in line starting Friday, March 19, but demand will be high – Ohio is also expanding eligibility to all residents over the age of 40.
Bryan Hannon with the American Cancer Society says that, while he is happy cancer patients in Ohio are finally eligible, he's concerned about whether they can find available appointments since people over 40 and others with chronic ailments have also been added.
“I think there is some concern that cancer patients and patients with other chronic diseases, like COPD and heart disease, may have to compete with relatively healthy 40-year-olds of average risk," Hannon says.
Hannon says he wishes Ohio had followed the CDC guidelines so cancer patients would have been able to get the vaccines sooner.
Ohio lists cancer patients and others with illnesses in Phase 1E, higher than 40-year-olds, who are in Phase 2C, so that might give them an advantage at some clinics.
Other groups included in 1E are people with chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease and obesity. In total, about 766,000 Ohioans are estimated to be newly eligible for the vaccine under Phase 1E.
As of Tuesday, Ohio has given the coronavirus vaccine to about 21% of the population – or 2.43 million people. About 12%, or 1.4 million people, are fully vaccinated.
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