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Ohio ready for new vaccine group

Jabs coming for kids under 5 starting Monday

As COVID-19 cases per 100,000 Ohioans gradually declined for a third straight week, Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, director of the Ohio Department of Health, announced vaccinations for those as young as 6 months old will be in the state Monday.

The vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer for those under the age of 5 are in the final stages of being approved nationally, he said Thursday. Once that occurs, they will be made available in Ohio, he said.

Those under 5 are the only group not yet eligible for COVID-19 vaccines.

COVID-19 “has had a less severe overall impact on our youngest children when compared with other age groups,” Vanderhoff said.

He added: “It’s important to remember that our youngest children can still (become) seriously ill with this virus.”

Vanderhoff said the vaccination is “designed to protect us from serious illness” and it “does that well.”

The state had a 5.9 percent decrease in COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents this week compared to last week.

Cases in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties also declined from last week.

The third straight week of modest declines — it dropped by 2.7 percent last week and by 5.5 percent two weeks ago — came after eight weeks of increases in the state. Before that, there were 10 consecutive weeks of declines and prior to that, 11 straight weeks of increases.

There were 251.9 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents for the two-week period between June 2 and Wednesday compared to 267.8 cases per 100,000 last week, according to data provided Thursday by the Ohio Department of Health.

Ohio had 275.2 cases per 100,000 residents two weeks ago, 291.1 cases per 100,000 residents three weeks ago, 269 cases per 100,000 residents four weeks ago and 205.7 cases per 100,000 residents five weeks ago.

It hit a record-high 2,154.8 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents on Jan. 20.

Of the state’s 88 counties, 87 had more than 100 cases per 100,000 residents and 58, including Mahoning and Trumbull, had more than 200 cases per 100,000 residents.

There were 86 counties above 100 cases per 100,000 residents last week, 85 counties above that level two weeks ago, 83 three weeks ago, 81 four weeks ago and 67 five weeks ago. There was just one nine weeks ago.

The ODH switched March 13 from daily to weekly reports. The reports are provided on Thursdays.

A total of 16,169 COVID-19 cases were reported in the past week as of Thursday. In comparison, there were 18,247 COVID-19 cases last week, 17,530 two weeks ago, 19,546 three weeks ago, 19,536 four weeks ago and 15,970 COVID-19 cases five weeks ago.

The ODH didn’t report new deaths Thursday for the second week in a row. It won’t report them until June 23 “because the National Center for Health Statistics is implementing a new coding system. While death records will continue to be added to our database, no specific causes of death will be assigned.”

The ODH added: “Once the new coding system is operational, all deaths that were entered during the pause will be updated with causes.”

The state’s COVID-19 hospitalization rate has declined from its Jan. 11 peak of 6,729 to 763 Thursday, according to Ohio Hospital Association statistics. It was 749 last week, 753 two weeks ago, 687 three weeks ago, 640 four weeks ago and 524 five weeks ago.

VALLEY RATES

Mahoning is 29th in the state this week among the 88 counties with 255.8 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents.

It was 14th last week with 301.7 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents.

Mahoning was third two weeks ago with 366.4 COVID-19 cases per 100.000 residents, ninth three weeks ago with 354.6 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents, 21st four weeks ago with 246.2 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents and 36th five weeks ago with 149.1 COVID-19 cases per 100,000.

Trumbull is 42nd in the state this week with 229.8 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents.

It was 33rd last week with 256.6 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents.

Trumbull was 24th two weeks ago with 275.3 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents, tied for 25th three weeks ago with 278.8 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents, 32nd four weeks ago with 212.7 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents and 47th five weeks ago with 128.8 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents.

Columbiana is 65th this week with 187.5 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents.

It was 59th last week with 205.1 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents.

Columbiana was 38th two weeks ago with 239.5 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents, tied with Trumbull for 25th three weeks ago with 278.8 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents, 30th four weeks ago with 217.9 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents and 31st five weeks ago with 159 COVID-19 cases per 100,000.

The ODH measures cases per 100,000 residents among counties to get a fair comparison because total cases likely would result in more-populous counties ranking higher.

dskolnick@tribtoday.com

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