(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today Governor DeWine announced that vaccination rates are increasing across the state. There has been an increase of vaccinations in 85 of Ohio’s 88 counties in July compared to the previous month while last week saw an increase in all 88 counties compared to the first week in July.
“We have vaccines that are powerful and do an amazing job. They are so powerful that we now live in a state with two groups of people – those vaccinated and those not,” said Governor DeWine. “Those who are vaccinated are safe, those who are not vaccinated are not safe.”
The latest data shows that 60% of Ohioans 18 and over have received at least one dose of vaccine, while 58% of all eligible Ohioans, those 12 and older, are either fully or partially vaccinated. Demographic breakdowns of these age groups will now be available on the COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard at coronavirus.ohio.gov.
The Delta variant is now the dominant strain of COVID-19 in Ohio. In May, less than 1% of lab sequenced cases were identified as the Delta variant. The most recent data from July 4th through July 17th, show that 86.4% of lab sequenced cases were the Delta variant.
For those who get infected with the Delta variant, experts say they may have a higher viral load than those who are infected with other strains. It is much more contagious than any version of COVID-19 that we have encountered and remains exceedingly dangerous to those who are not vaccinated.
Of the total hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients since January 1st, 18,367 individuals were not fully vaccinated. Just 295 patients had received the vaccine. Delta variant information will be available beginning today on the coronavirus.ohio.gov website and will be updated every Thursday.
“Delta spreads like wildfire and seeks out anyone who is unvaccinated. But there is good news as two things remain very clear: First, the vaccines are the key to containing this fire and ultimately putting it out,” said Ohio Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Bruce Vanderhoff, M.D. “Secondly, vaccination is without any doubt your best bet, regardless of your age, for avoiding getting really sick with COVID-19 and to avoid lasting complications like Long Covid.”
Throughout the pandemic, local health departments, universities, schools, employers, pharmacies, nursing homes, hospitals, community health centers, primary care physicians, and pediatricians have worked tirelessly to vaccinate Ohioans. We have seen that potential incentives have encouraged some to get the COVID-19 vaccine. A study just published in the American Journal of Medicine estimates that nearly 115,000 additional Ohioans received vaccinations as a result of the Vax-a-Million program. The Ohio Department of Health is encouraging local health departments to continue their vaccination efforts and is offering to assist in those efforts.