COLUMBUS, Ohio — The DeWine administration will soon announce a plan to distribute the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine to Ohio’s colleges, enabling students to get a shot before summer break, the governor said Monday afternoon. 

What You Need To Know

  • The state plans to make the Johnson & Johnson vaccine available to colleges 

  • College students have transmitted the virus at a high rate in Ohio

  • All residents became eligible for COVID-19 vaccines on Monday

Gov. Mike DeWine discussed vaccinations with Ohio’s university presidents during a meeting on Friday. DeWine met with reporters at a vaccination clinic at the Vinton County Health Department in McArthur, Ohio — the third vaccination site he visited on Monday — to discuss the details. 

College student
College towns across the U.S. emerged as coronavirus hot spots as schools struggled to contain the virus. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

The news that vaccines will be headed to the state’s colleges comes as vaccine eligibility expanded Monday to all residents in the state 16 and older. 

The discussions about the Johnson & Johnson plan on Friday included leaders of private and public universities in Ohio, he said. 

“My conversation with them on Friday, really had to do with the vaccines and what they wanted to do, how they were looking at this,” he said. “The unique challenge, of course, is that most of our colleges are out around May 1.”

Due to the timing of the vaccine rollout, Johnson & Johnson could be advantageous for college students who may otherwise have difficulty getting second shots of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine by the end of the school year. 

“There are certain groups that it just makes a lot more sense to use the Johnson & Johnson,” DeWine said.

More information will be released at his next press conference, the governor said. While college students are not at the highest risk for severe illness, “college students are high in capability to spread,” DeWine said. “As we look at going into the summer, this is a big concern that we have for that whole age group.”