Ohio Governor Mike DeWine visiting ONU on April 2, 2021.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine '72 stopped by Ohio Northern University’s COVID-19 mobile mass vaccination clinic held on campus Friday, April 2 at King Horn Sports Center. DeWine toured the clinic, spoke to media and encouraged people to take advantage of ONU’s state-sponsored “Six counties in 60 days” mobile mass-vaccination initiative that is taking place in six Ohio counties through May.

"We're very happy to be back at ONU," said DeWine, who graduated from the Pettit College of Law. "We're making some real progress," he noted of vaccination efforts, adding that about 30 percent of Ohio residents are now vaccinated thanks to clinics such as ONU's HealthWise Mobile Clinic. "This is really the way that we fight back against the virus. It puts us on the offensive. I feel good about where we are."

ONU Raabe College of Pharmacy Dean Steve Martin, Pharm.D., said he was grateful for the governor’s visit and for his vaccine advocacy.

“I appreciate all the work he (DeWine) has done to help us get out and vaccinate people, including college kids so that we can send them home safely" and those who live in places "where it may be difficult for people to access care," said Martin. “I’m also glad that he could see our team in action.”

King Horn Sports Center’s field house included several vaccination stations. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. pharmacy and nursing students, supervised by faculty and other pharmacists, were administering Johnson & Johnson shots and providing vital information about the vaccine. After receiving the vaccine, patients were guided to a seating area where they received printed materials and an ONU HealthWise-branded sleeve to safely store their official CDC vaccine card, and waited 15 minutes to determine if they would have an initial allergic reaction to the vaccine; students explained some of the more common symptoms include a sore arm, headache and fever.

In March, Governor DeWine designated ONU Raabe College of Pharmacy’s HealthWise Mobile Clinic as a mass-vaccination site for serving those who don’t have easy access to larger metropolitan areas where vaccines are more readily available. The clinic, staffed by Ohio Northern pharmacy students and faculty, is visiting locations in Hardin, Logan, Union, Marion, Crawford and Wyandot counties to administer the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which will eliminate the need to for people to schedule and travel for a second dose. Michael Rush, Pharm.D., director of ONU HealthWise and pharmacy residency programs, said the clinic expects to receive up to 2,200 doses per week and administer about 500 doses each day it is on location.

HealthWise is also coordinating with county health departments and emergency personnel on this state-level initiative to identify appropriate mobile clinic sites for rural residents with varying needs.

For several weeks, ONU has been collaborating with the Hardin County Health Department to administer vaccinations to high-risk individuals and essential workers. Friday’s clinic will be the first mass vaccination clinic to be held on campus as part of Ohio Northern’s state-sponsored mobile initiative that began Wednesday, March 31 in Logan County.

HealthWise mobile clinic is serving all its designated sites within a six-county region in a four-day continuing rotation. “Each of these locations has associated with it some sort of a building or grounds that we will use,” such as a church fellowship halls and gymnasiums, says Rush. “The mobile clinic then becomes a rolling headquarters” complete with two medical-grade refrigerators and a freezer to store the vaccine, and a secure internet connection to manage data.

A complete state-sponsored HealthWise mobile clinic schedule can be found here.

To schedule a COVID-19 vaccination appointment for a HealthWise mobile clinic, visit www.gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov.