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Northwest Ohio hospitals prepare for COVID-19 vaccines

Some could be approved for use and arrive in December.

TOLEDO, Ohio — The President, Ohio's governor and local health officials have been focused on one major development to help curb the spread of COVID-19: a vaccine.

Several are in the final stages and could be shipped out across the country as soon as December.

After months of social distancing, quarantining and waiting, serious talk has begun about distribution of the coronavirus vaccine -- something many are ready for.

"At least it's something coming to an end, I guess. Better than what we was going through, where there was no hope," Toledoan William Slover said.

"I feel like it could be a little progress," said Toledoan Laura Warts. "But I'm a little scared because it's, you know, no time, vaccines takes a little longer to develop."

Dr. Brian Kaminski, Vice President of Quality and Patient Safety at ProMedica, says it's normal for people to be apprehensive with how fast the new COVID-19 vaccines have been developed, noting it will be optional when it's likely available in mid-December.

"Although as a healthcare system we don't anticipate we're going to mandate it, we're going to strongly encourage it and we believe it is a big solution, if not the best solution, to getting through the pandemic," Kaminski said.

Three major pharmaceutical companies have developed vaccines that appear to have a 90% or higher success rate.

RELATED: Fauci: Pfizer, Moderna coronavirus vaccine efficacy on level of measles vaccine

Moderna and Pfizer's vaccines require a second shot after a few weeks. 

The most vulnerable people like the elderly and those who are immunocompromised will be first in line, along with frontline workers.

"We want to vaccinate those who are highest risk and putting themselves in harm's way. So there are phases to the deployment and this all comes from Operation Warp Speed, which trickles down to the states and the local health departments," Kaminski said.

After that, the goal is to make it available to everyone. And while some are still hesitant, others would get the vaccine tomorrow if it was ready.

"If a doctor recommended it, then yeah, I would," Patrick Robarge said.

"I would definitely get the COVID vaccine," Warts said.

ProMedica has clearance to get doses as soon as a vaccine is approved by the FDA.

As things develop, Kaminski encourages you to look to the CDC, WHO and NIH as reliable sources of vaccine information.