Mar. 5—COLUMBUS — Ohio’s first regional long-term mass vaccination sites for coronavirus will open as soon as late March in Maumee, Lima, and nine other locations across Ohio to administer anywhere from 300 to 3,000 doses a day, Gov. Mike DeWine announced Friday.
In addition, there will be a fixed eight-week site in downtown Cleveland to be run in conjunction with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the governor said during a media conference at Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center.
The Maumee site will be held at the Lucas County Recreation Center, 2901 Key St., while the Lima operation will be at the Knights of Columbus at 810 S. Cable Road. Their county health departments will run both.
The other, state-run fixed sites will include Dayton, Columbus, Akron, Youngstown, Cincinnati, Marietta, Chillicothe, Wilmington, and Zanesville.
Four mobile clinics are also expected in and around Ada, Athens, Mansfield, and Steubenville. The Ada operation, to be run by Ohio Northern University, will also target much of rural northwest Ohio.
“The whole idea is to make it easier for people and knock down any barriers that might exist,” Mr. DeWine said. “We have an obligation that any Ohioan who wants to get a vaccine can get it in their community easily. This is going to be a real community effort.”
It’s unclear when these regional sites will open. It will be up to the local operators as to whether they are run as traditional clinics or as drive-through operations as seen in some other states.
“We don’t have a time-line yet,” DeWine spokesman Jill Del Greco said. “It’s going to be based on vaccine supply. We are anticipating increased supply beyond what we’re seeing right now toward the end of the month, so we’re hoping these could be opening by the end of the month or in early April.”
They would continue to operate until they are no longer considered needed.
All of these sites will operate in addition to the state’s current system of supplying vaccines to about 1,250 local providers like pharmacies, hospitals, and health departments, a process that has led to frustration among many who have been unable to make appointments.
All of the regional sites will be open to anyone currently considered eligible under Ohio’s vaccine guidelines. The latest list includes those age 60 and older, people with certain medical conditions, law enforcement officers, correctional officers, pregnant women, child-care providers, and funeral service employees.
Those seeking vaccines at the regional centers will not have to be local residents.
FEMA announced that the state’s first major mass vaccination clinic at Cleveland State will start on March 17 and continue for eight weeks seven days a week. It is expected to administer 6,000 vaccines a day.
During those weeks, participants would receive their first and second doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
Appointments would be made through Ohio’s online scheduling system that has yet to go on line. There will also be options to make appointments by phone or in person.
More details, including hours of operation for the clinic, will be announced later. There will be some emphasis at each location on getting appointments to higher risk and under-served residents.
Mr. DeWine also announced that 50,000 doses will be made available to two temporary, pop-up vaccination sites in Columbus and Cincinnati that will start shortly after the Cleveland site goes into operation.
As of Friday, 1.8 million Ohioans had received at least the first dose of a coronavirus.
First Published March 5, 2021, 1:56pm