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Vaccines need to reach everyone

Ohio still has some work to do in making sure the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines is properly serving Buckeye State residents. Certainly the private sector bears some blame, as some pharmacies and other facilities still seem incapable of properly storing, transporting and keeping track of the precious vials.

But the public has received assurances that at least at the private level, they understand how to tackle the problem.

“Walgreens is investigating and has taken additional immediate steps to review and correct our operating procedures to prevent this from occurring again,” spokesman Fraser Engerman said after an incident that affected five nursing homes in northeastern Ohio.

State officials bear more responsibility in trying to solve the problem of vaccine inequity. According to one report, of the 880,000 Ohioans who had received their first vaccine shot by Monday, only 3 percent were Black. That is in contrast to Blacks making up approximately 14.3 percent of Ohio’s population.

Gov. Mike DeWine says he is working to increase the number of vaccines administered to and available for minority communities. “We will continue to gain a better understanding of the barriers to vaccination and this will help develop solutions,” he said.

It seems as though such a process should have begun before the vaccine rollout, rather than once we are deep into it. Nevertheless, now that the problem is laid bare, it is crucial state officials get this one right.

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