COVID-19 updates
Ohio Vax-a-million, Kids Vaccination, Expiration of Health Orders, COVID-19 Vaccine Providers, COVID-19 Vaccine and Routine Immunizations, Disposal of Expired/Expiring COVID-19 Specimen Collection Kits, New PSA
& Current Case Data
May 14, 2021

Pandemic Vaccine News & Updates 

Click here to view the Ohio Department of Health's vaccine preparedness office weekly update, a guidance document that shares current vaccine information and important resources with Ohio providers.

Ohio Vax-a-million

In Wednesday's statewide evening address, Governor DeWine detailed a series of statewide drawings to provide incentives for Ohioans to get a COVID-19 vaccination. Ohioans aged 18 and older will be entered into "Ohio Vax-a-Million," a weekly drawing with a prize of up to $1 million. 


The pool of names for the "Ohio Vax-a-Million" drawing will be derived from the Ohio Secretary of State's publicly available voter registration database. Additionally, a webpage will be available to register.  


A total of five weekly drawings for each prize will take place, with the first winners being announced May 26. Winners must have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by the date of the respective drawing. 


The drawings will be administered by the Ohio Department of Health, with technical assistance from the Ohio Lottery Commission, and will be funded through existing allocations to the Ohio Department of Health of unexpended coronavirus relief funds.

Kids Vaccination 

Governor DeWine announced COVID-19 Pfizer vaccinations are now available to Ohio's youth age 12 years and older, following members of the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended the use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for this age group. 


Additionally, Ohioans 17 and under who are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination will be entered into a drawing for a full, four-year scholarship to any of Ohio's state colleges and universities, including full tuition, room and board, and books. A total of five weekly drawings for a full, four-year scholarship will take place, with the first winner being announced on May 26. A webpage will be available to register those who qualify

Expiration of Health Orders

Governor DeWine also announced that he has asked the Ohio Department of Health to remove most pandemic health orders on June 2. The timeline will allow any Ohioan who has not yet received a COVID-19 vaccine to obtain one to protect themselves and others before the lifting of coronavirus mitigation protocols.


Measures being removed will include facial covering protocols, social distancing guidelines, and capacity restrictions for indoor and outdoor events.


Governor DeWine announced that any pandemic health orders that would remain solely relate to either 1) nursing homes and assisted living facilities, which will also to have federal safety protocols, and 2) data collection related to the pandemic.

COVID-19 Vaccination Provider
The Ohio Department of Health has provided a letter for primary care physicians who wish to enroll as a COVID-19 vaccination provider. It includes important updates and clarification about the enrollment requirements.
COVID-19 Vaccine and Routine Immunizations 
Click here to view a statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics regarding its support for childhood and adolescent immunizations at the same time as COVID-19 vaccines. 

Disposal of Expired/Expiring COVID-19 Specimen Collection Kits

Many unused COVID-19 specimen collection kits distributed throughout Ohio have either expired or will soon reach their expiration date. Therefore, ODH is making the following recommendations for the disposal of these unused materials:

  • It is permissible to discard unused Viral Transport Media (VTM) as regular trash.*
  • It is permissible to discard unused swabs as regular trash.*

* Not managed as infectious waste per Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA), see below.


A memo dated May 6, 2021, from OEPA indicates expired VTM disposable samplers do not need to be managed as infectious waste, as there is no reasonable expectation of the presence of an infectious agent. Therefore, the materials noted above are being disposed of because they are unused and past the expiration date provided by the manufacturer.


In addition, ODH will not be accepting returns of unused expired or expiring COVID-19 specimen collection kits or ancillary testing materials.


To replenish expired supplies or for ongoing COVID-19 testing needs, please submit a standard resource request through your local emergency management agency for additional supplies. Click here to view a PDF version. 


Governor DeWine introduced a new public service announcement that encourages Ohioans to get vaccinated, featuring Cleveland Browns Coach Kevin Stefanski. 

Current Case Data

In-depth COVID-19 data for Ohio:

Ohio's central scheduling system:

Ohio mass vaccination information:

All vaccine providers:

More vaccine information:


Video of the most recent updates, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on The Ohio Channel's YouTube page


For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) is leading Ohio’s pandemic response. If you have questions or concerns about their programs, please use the links below. SMBO will continue to share information from ODH as it is received. 

Trusted Resources 

Provider Wellness Resources

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