A COVID-19 booster Q&A

Illustration of three boxes that have a checkmark made of a syringe.
Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

New COVID-19 boosters are now rolling out to Central Ohio providers.

🤔 Your questions, answered:

Ohio's declining life expectancy

Data: Arias, et al., 2022, "U.S. State Life Tables, 2020"; Chart: Simran Parwani/Axios

Ohio's life expectancy was the 13th-lowest in the U.S. in 2020, per new CDC data.

  • The average lifespan of an Ohioan at birth was 75.3 years — lower than the national average of 77.

Your kid (probably) had COVID-19

Data: CDC; Map: Simran Parwani/Axios

Almost 83% of Ohio kids between 6 months and 17 years old have been infected with COVID-19, per recent estimates from the CDC.

  • That's slightly higher than the national average of just under 80%.

Masks recommended again in Columbus, Franklin County

Data: Ohio Hospital Association; Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios

Health officials in Columbus and Franklin County are recommending we wear masks in public again for the first time since rescinding mandates more than four months ago.

Driving the news: This is the first time Franklin County has had a "high" COVID-19 community level on a new CDC data tracker launched in March, triggered by rising community spread and hospitalizations.

Tyler Buchanan
Jul 7, 2022 - COVID

Vaccine mandate ban may reach Ohio ballot

Anti-vaccine demonstrators hold signs outside the Ohio Statehouse.
Anti-vaccine mandate demonstrators outside the Ohio Statehouse during a protest in August 2021. Photo: Stephen Zenner/AFP via Getty Images

Anti-vaccine activists want to amend the Ohio Constitution to ban vaccine mandates.

Why it matters: After Ohio saw a rise in anti-vaccine sentiment during the pandemic's early days, this effort shows there is still momentum to enact such policies.

Contagious COVID-19 subvariants dominate rates in Ohio

Data: CDC; Chart: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

Highly contagious BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants now make up more than 70% of all COVID-19 cases in the CDC's Region 5 area, which includes Columbus.

  • The rate is calculated by running thousands of samples through genomic sequencing.

COVID vaccines for kids under 5 off to slow start

Illustration of a hand holding a toy syringe. 
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

In the week since children as young as 6 months became eligible for COVID-19 shots, the share of Ohio families obtaining them remains low.

By the numbers: About 7,200 kids under 5 — just 1.5% of those eligible — have received a vaccine so far, the Ohio Department of Health reported yesterday.

Tyler Buchanan
Jun 23, 2022 - COVID

Medical Reserve Corps ready for anything

Illustration of blueprints with am ambulance emergency symbol drawn.
Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

As last week's power outage entered its third day, volunteers with the Franklin County & Columbus Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) prepared to mobilize.

  • Power was soon restored and they weren't called to action, but the group knew it was worth being prepared had things turned catastrophic.
  • "It's kind of counter-intuitive," Garrett Crane, MRC's coordinator, tells Axios, "but the best possible outcome is that nothing happens."

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