It’s the only vaccine available for the virus that causes Zoster, a highly contagious and deadly form of coronavirus.
The vaccine works by stopping the body’s immune response to the virus, and it protects people against complications, including fever, sore throat and other symptoms, as well as serious complications, such as pneumonia and organ failure.
But as of January, Zoster was no longer on the CDC’s list of most-prepared states.
A number of states have made efforts to implement new, less-aggressive policies to address the outbreak.
A new wave of governors is seeking to expand access to the vaccine, including Ohio, which approved the use of the vaccine for adults at age 65 and up.
John Kasich, a Republican, said Monday that he would allow for the use in public places of Zoster vaccines for those aged 65 and older if they comply with the new state law.
“I think the state of Ohio is in a position to take the next step in the right direction,” Kasich said at a news conference.
Kasich also said he is “very confident” that the state will be able to take a “pro-active approach” to vaccinating people who have been vaccinated in the past.
The Ohio Department of Health and Human Services is currently administering the vaccine in its county, which covers parts of the state and includes parts of Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo, and Dayton.
But the department’s director, Tom O’Donnell, said the department has not yet begun administering the flu shot.
Ohio, where Zoster is the second-most common cause of death in the U.S., has also received a few vaccine doses from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In December, the state issued the first batch of the new vaccine, which is now available for those 65 and over.
But while some of the other states that have been proactive in vaccinating their residents have been able to roll out new measures, Kasich said Ohio is not in the position to do so.
Kasich said the state is “still going to be a state of vigilance” but added that Ohio is “not going to sit on the sidelines.”
The Ohio state government said in a statement Monday that it has made plans to expand the use, testing, and distribution of the flu vaccine.
“We are very excited about the opportunity to take this step forward and continue to provide our residents the flu vaccination they need,” said Governor John Kasich.