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COVID-19 vaccinations begin for Oklahoma nursing home residents, staff

Posted at 5:21 PM, Dec 21, 2020

OKLAHOMA CITY — Vaccines started being given to nursing home residents and staff as part of phase 2 of the vaccination plan.

Governor Kevin Stitt, State Commissioner of Health Dr. Lance Frye and other health officials spoke at The Lodge at Brookline as vaccines started being given as part of a partnership between the federal government and CVS and Walgreens.

Frances Wantland, an 89-year-old resident, Pam Byers, who has been a nurse for 19 years, and Scott Pilgrim, the chief executive officer of the Diakonos Group, which operates The Lodge were the first few people to get the vaccine on Tuesday.

"This marks the beginning of a new trajectory in our fight against COVID-19," said Commissioner Frye. "This year has been especially hard for those living and isolating in long-term care, and we are grateful for our federal pharmacy partners at CVS and Walgreen who have been critical in this effort. We’re hopeful that the effectiveness of this vaccine, paired with other preventative measures, will save lives and eventually allow long-term care facilities to resume regular visitations for family and loved ones.”

As part of Operation Warp Speed, the federal government is shipping 44,000 vaccine doses to Oklahoma for use in inoculating residents and staff in Long Term Care (LTC) settings. The doses are being transported to LTC facilities across the state and administered by CVS and Walgreens staff. All LTC residents and staff are included in the initial phase of the Oklahoma’s vaccination plan, making them an ongoing priority.

In the first week since vaccines arrived in Oklahoma, 21,000 healthcare workers and first responders in all 77 counties have been vaccinated.

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