Written By: Ishton W. Morton – December 4th, 2020
In the words of John F. Kennedy, “We are not here to curse the darkness, but to light the candle that can guide us through that darkness to a safe and sane future.” Just maybe! And just maybe Ohio Governor Mike DeWine basic presupposition on dealing with COVID-19 is grounded, or guided by this simple fundamental.
Today, Friday afternoon December 4th, 2020 during a special news briefing, Governor Mike DeWine presented the first phase under which the state to begin vaccinating residents Ohio for COVID-19.
Although DeWine has unveiled the first phase of the state’s vaccination program, a couple of thing continues to be very nebulous such as exactly who will be the first get vaccinated, and how much of the vaccine is expected.
The governor said, “Our goal is to get this out as quickly as we can, as soon as the federal government gets it to us. “The plan for vaccine distribution will continue to be fine-tuned, bur objectives are to save lives; slow the spread of the virus; and to ensure those on the frontline receive the vaccine quickly.”
The governor unveiled what he called “Phase 1A” of the distribution plan, which did not include many surprises. The governor had always said health care providers and nursing home residents and staff would be among the first to receive the vaccine.
They are included in phase one, which will be focused on reaching critical groups. Those in the first phase include:
- Health care providers and personnel routinely involved with the care of COVID-19 patients
- Residents and staff at nursing facilities
- Residents and staff at assisted living facilities
- Residents and staff at Ohio’s veterans homes
- Patients and staff at psychiatric hospitals
- People with intellectual disabilities and those who live with mental illness who live in group homes and their staff
- EMS responders
How much of the vaccine will arrive and when will it be received? Many of the details are still being hashed out as the vaccine receives final federal approval. But the governor detailed a preliminary schedule Friday afternoon.
As of right now, the state will receive its first shipment from Pfizer around December 15th, 2020.
Accordingly, of that first shipment, 9,750 will go to the state’s hospitals (prepositioned sites), and 88,725 will go to Walgreens and CVS, who will in turn distribute to congregate care settings.
However, according to the DeWine on December 22nd, 2020 Ohio anticipate a shipment of 201,000 vaccines from Moderna. These will go to 98 hospitals and 108 health departments. Hospitals will vaccinate those dealing with COVID patients. Health departments will vaccinate people like EMS and other essential workers.
Also, the governor said, “on December 22nd, 2020 the state expects another shipment from Pfizer. The tentative number of vaccines in this shipment is 123,000. These will go to Walgreen and CVS for vaccination of those in congregate care settings.” Question; will there be a cost?
A few days later, Ohio expects to get another 148,000 vaccines from Pfizer and 89,000 vaccines from Moderna.
DeWine acknowledged that these shipments will not be enough to cover the individuals laid out in the first phase of the vaccination process, but it is a start.
Although this in itself is good news for health care workers who’ve fought through the dark days of this pandemic, there continues to be enormous trust issues.
With good reason the distrust of a vaccine has elevated even to higher level amongst communities of color.
Urban League Chief Operating Officer Cinnamon Pell said; “We want them to use every tool at their disposal to keep them and their families safe. Also, we understand that there is a lot of mistrust and a lot of that has to do with historically how African Americans and other disadvantaged populations have been taken advantage of for medical experiments.”
The governor said families in Ohio deserve to be guided by the facts about a COVID-19 vaccine.
Briefly, the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, or the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment which unleashed syphilis in impoverished African American communities devastated the male population by way of using an inhumane study at the then Tuskegee Institute in a clinical study conducted that was started between 1932 until 1972 by the United States Public Health Service (PHS) and the (CDC) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Reportedly the purpose of this study was to observe the natural history of untreated syphilis; the African-American men in the study were told they were receiving free health care from the federal government of the United States.
The Public Health Service started the study in 1932 in collaboration with Tuskegee University (then the Tuskegee Institute), a historically black college in Alabama. Investigators enrolled in the study a total of 600 impoverished, African-American sharecroppers from Macon County, Alabama
As an incentive for participation in the study, the men were promised free medical care, but were deceived by the PHS, who never informed subjects of their diagnosis and disguised placebos, ineffective methods, and diagnostic procedures as treatment. Of these men, 399 had latent syphilis, with a control group of 201 men who were not infected.
The men were initially told that the study was only going to last six months, but it was extended to 40 years. After funding for treatment was lost, the study was continued without informing the men that they will never be treated. None of the infected men were treated with penicillin despite the fact that by 1947, the antibiotic was widely available and had become the standard treatment for syphilis.
Subsequently, the study continued, under numerous Public Health Service supervisors, until 1972, when a leak to the press resulted in its termination on November 16th, of that year. Thusly, many in the African American continues to be extremely skeptical.
Regardless, the governor continued to say; “We’re in a very dangerous situation, & I think we can all agree that we can’t let our hospitals get to the point where healthcare is threatened. The curfew, mask-wearing, retail inspection have helped, but they haven’t helped enough. We’ll have to do more. We don’t have a choice.”
A recent pew research center survey shows only 51% of adults in the U.S. indicated they will take a coronavirus vaccine.