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College campuses statewide begin distributing doses of COVID-19 vaccine to students

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is or will soon be available to students on private and public campuses statewide.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Jonathan Kim, Jack Robinson and Pranav Murali had appointments to get a COVID-19 vaccination Monday afternoon and they didn’t have to travel far from their dorm to get it done. 

"I'm not too worried about myself I'm more worried about like my parents," Kim said.

"I'm ready to have a fun summer and go out more," Robinson said.  

They are among the college students statewide who now have access to vaccine clinics on campus. It’s part of a plan announced by Governor Mike DeWine last week.

"I feel like as more people get vaccinated we can kind of go back to more normalcy,” Pranav Murali said.

DeWine visited the Schottenstein Center on campus Monday to kick off his initiative to get as many students vaccinated as possible before they leave for summer break.

As of Monday, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is or will soon be available to students on private and public campuses statewide.

This vaccine news comes on the heels of some more news about testing efforts, specifically at Ohio State, where students on campus or coming to campus must be tested for COVID-19 twice a week.

"We are really encouraging universities and colleges to increase the testing," said Governor DeWine.

Some colleges have already been working to bring vaccine distributions to campus for a while now. That was the case at Bowling Green State University.

"We had a very large number of students come to those clinics," said Ben Batey, Chief Health Officer and Bowling Green State University.

Batey said two mass vaccination clinics were held recently that were open to students, faculty, and the community.

At Otterbein University in Westerville, vaccine distribution will begin Thursday. Otterbein will receive 2,400 Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccines for its students and the Westerville Fire department will help administer them.

“Literally they just started signing up and we're well over 300 students at this point in time and for a campus community that looks at right around 2,300 undergraduate students, that's a good percentage you know all within an hour of being released to the community,” said Dawn Stuart, Vice President for Student Affairs.

Kent State University will begin distribution Thursday as well. Ohio University will begin its vaccine clinics Wednesday.

At Ohio University, COVID-19 vaccination clinics will start Wednesday on the Athens campus. The clinics will be held on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A spokesperson for Ohio University, due to a shortage of Johnson & Johnson vaccines this week, students will be offered the Pfizer vaccine with two doses spaced 21 days apart.

They say the University expects the clinics that are held April 12 through the 23 to be stocked only with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, pending availability. The vaccines are available at no cost to students.

Capital University will begin distributing the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Thursday. According to the university, they are partnering with Bexley Urgent Care to provide vaccinations at the Bexley Campus and Law School. 

The clinic at the Kerns Kable Chapel on campus will happen Thursday, April 8 through Thursday, April 15, every day except Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. At the Law School, a clinic will take place inside the Annex classroom Friday, April 16 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Currently, about a quarter of the 65,000 students at Ohio State have been vaccinated or have a single dose, according to the University's president Dr. Kristina Johnson.

She said more Johnson & Johnson doses are arriving this week which will ramp up efforts.

They may consider some other options to increase vaccine distribution as well.

"One is that we can open up on Saturdays we could open up a third station. The other thing we can do is a pop-up like we did with Kroger in St. John Arena. If we have the doses we'll get it done,” Johnson said.