5 things to know about the coronavirus: Vaccines, vaccines, vaccines

It is Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020 and these are five things to know about the coronavirus pandemic today.

Nursing homes receive first vaccines

Nursing home residents and staff were vaccinated against the coronavirus for the first time on Friday as part of a federal program partnering pharmacies with congregate care facilities. Ten total facilities received vaccines on the first day.

Gov. DeWine shifts focus away from alert level system

At Thursday’s coronavirus press briefing, Gov. Mike DeWine said that he wanted to shift public focus away from the color-coded public health advisory system and toward a ranking of virus occurrence rates in each county. He said that while the map system gave early warnings, in a time where 83 of 88 counties are listed at the red level 3, the color-based system is less helpful.

Ohio crosses 600,000-case line

On Friday, Ohio surpassed more than 600,000 total cases of the coronavirus since the pandemic began, with 9,684 cases reported in 24 hours. Daily hospitalizations stayed just under 400 with 398 reported on Friday, and for the first time in nearly two weeks, the number of coronavirus patients in Ohio hospitals dropped below 5,000. Ohio also reported 47 new ICU admissions and 73 deaths due to the coronavirus.

Ohio and other states aren’t getting as much vaccine as expected

Ohio will receive 130,600 fewer doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine in next week’s shipment than previously reported, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Several other states were also told to expect far fewer doses of the vaccine. Previously, Ohio expected 123,000 doses on Tuesday and 148,000 on Wednesday, but now each shipment will be 70,200 doses.

US clears Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized an emergency rollout of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine, adding another vaccine to the country’s arsenal. This marks the first authorization for this version, and doses are set to arrive on Monday.

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