Ohio is moving towards its next phase of COVID vaccinations. Elderly not living in congregate settings and some educators will be prioritized in this phase.
There is concern that not enough people are accepting the shot. In a news conference last Friday, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish said as many as 70 to 80 percent of people being offered the vaccine are declining it.
Skepticism about the vaccine is especially strong among communities of color.
A Kaiser Family Foundation poll released last month found that Black Americans are the most hesitant to get a vaccine. A recent Pew Research Center poll found that just 42% of Black Americans said they would consider the vaccine. That compares to 63% of Hispanic and 61% of white adults who said they would roll up their sleeve.
The origins of the skepticism are manifold. Some of it dates back in history to instances where Black Americans were treated unfairly in medical research. It also dates to present day where beliefs of unfairness stem from unequal access to care.
On January 6, an angry mob of President Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in an effort to disrupt the final Electoral Vote count and certification of President-elect Joe Biden's win in the 2020 election. Five people died as a result of the assault on the capitol.
The mob rushed the seat of our demcracy after more than two months of unfounded rhetoric claiming the election had been "stolen" and that voter fraud was at work in the win for Biden. Supporters of President Trump say that integrity and our faith in our elections needs restored.
A record number of people voted in the 2020 election driven by efforts to make mail-in and early voting more robust due to concerns about the pandemic.
Cities around the nation, including Columbus, are preparing for more demonstrations by President Trump supporters this weekend. Governor DeWine has activated the Ohio National Guard through Inauguration Day.
Plus, Ohio further details how it will distribute the next round of COVID vaccines. Ohio's elderly not living in congregate settings and educators are prioritized in this round.
Lee Kirksey, M.D., surgeon, vice chairman, Department of Vascular Surgery, Cleveland Clinic
Tosin Goje, M.D., OB/GYN, Cleveland Clinic
Jen Miller, executive director, League of Women Voters of Ohio
Karen Kasler, Statehouse News Bureau chief, Ohio Public Radio/TV