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Help those who have yet to get vaccinated

Ohioans are witnessing the next phase in COVID-19 vaccine distribution, and it is an exciting time. Gov. Mike DeWine continues to expand access. Monday he authorized health departments and other vaccine providers to give shots to anyone over age 16, if they are not able to fill appointment slots this week or next week.

Meanwhile, there are 15 mass vaccination clinics being rolled out including Youngstown. Plus, four mobile vaccination clinics should be on the road soon.

According to one media outlet’s estimation, there are more than 1,200 places in Ohio where a person can get his or her vaccine shots.

And yet, how many of us know someone who is in an age group or fits other criteria that means they should have gotten their first, maybe even second shot already, but they have not? How many of us are still hearing fear and conspiracy theories, concerns based on misinformation, or even frustration from those who say they do not know how to get an appointment? We know of some who signed up through a local drugstore over three weeks ago and have received nothing but robocalls and are still awaiting getting a vaccine.

We still have work to do. If you know someone who is having trouble making an appointment, help them. Show them how to use the websites, or find the phone numbers. If you know someone who is worried about pulling the trigger, talk to them. Gently encourage them, without judgment. Help them understand they are saving more than their own lives when they make this choice.

This is all a ways off but we are getting there. There is hope. We have the vaccines, we have the access points. Now we need to get those shots into the arms of as many people as possible. If you’ve gotten your shot and can help someone else get it done, too, you will have made a difference in this fight many times over.

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