Ohio has started distributing safe, effective COVID-19 vaccines statewide to those who choose to be vaccinated. The COVID-19 vaccine development process included steps comparable with those used to develop previous vaccines, such as the flu or measles vaccine. As COVID-19 vaccines progressed through the thorough process to obtain emergency use authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the state began strategically and thoughtfully distributing the vaccines to Ohioans most at risk. This distribution is being guided by recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM).

Ohio’s goals are clear: To save lives and slow the spread of the virus. In the early vaccination phase, we focus on the most at risk, as well as distributing the vaccines as quickly as we can to essential healthcare workers and personnel caring for COVID-19 patients.
Priority is being given to vulnerable individuals who live in close proximity and those who care for them.
• Healthcare workers and personnel who are routinely involved in the care of COVID-19 patients.
• Residents and staff in nursing homes.
• Residents and staff in assisted living facilities.
• Patients and staff at state psychiatric hospitals.
• People with developmental disabilities and those with mental health disorders, including substance use disorders, who live in group homes, residential facilities, or centers, and staff at those locations.
• Residents and staff at our two homes for Ohio veterans.
• EMS responders.

The vaccine has been shown to prevent COVID-19 and to decrease the severity of illness in people who catch the virus that causes the disease. Vaccinating a significant portion of Ohioans will help prevent serious hospitalizations and deaths and allow us to more quickly return to normal.
Using all the tools available to help prevent the spread of the virus continues to be critical until a substantial number of Ohioans can be vaccinated. Continuing to wear masks and social distance will reduce your chance of being exposed to or spreading the virus. Proper prevention measures coupled with the vaccine will provide the best protection from COVID-19.

As vaccine supply increases, the state will continue to vaccinate all Ohioans who choose to receive it.

For more information, visit the COVID-19 Vaccination Program information page.