TULSA, Okla. — The first doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine were given in Tulsa on Tuesday.
PHOTO GALLERY: First doses of COVID-19 vaccine given in Tulsa Tuesday
Officials said Dr. Jeffrey Goodloe, a Physician at Hillcrest Medical Center, is the first to receive the vaccine dose in Tulsa County.
The Tulsa Health Department is administering the vaccine in a drive thru clinic. At this time, health officials are able to do four at a time. Patients are said to drive up, receive the vaccine and then pull forward to a waiting area for 15 minutes of observation, then the patient is released. Officials expect to administer 100 doses today and Wednesday, with more on Thursday, Dec. 17th.
The vaccine recipients described receiving the vaccine as "hardly being able to feel it."
The Tulsa Health Department, partnered with Saint Francis Health System, announced the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Tulsa County on Dec. 14th.
“The arrival of a safe and effective vaccine to prevent COVID-19 in Tulsa County is historic. I want to thank our partners at the state and local level for their collaborative efforts to coordinate the logistics of the vaccine distribution, and for their continued efforts as more doses become available,” said THD Executive Director Dr. Bruce Dart. “While this announcement is good news, it’s important to remember that distributing this vaccine will take time. We have lost 28 Tulsa County residents to this virus in the last week, and active cases and hospitalizations continue to remain dangerously high. It is critical for our residents to continue to follow public health guidelines to stay safe.”
THD officials said a total of 5,850 doses from the initial shipment are for Tulsa County, with more doses expected weekly. Officials said the vaccine will be administered per the Oklahoma State Department of Health's 'Vaccine Priority Groups.'
Jake Henry Jr., Saint Francis Health System president and chief executive officer said, “While today is certainly a day of excitement for the arrival of the vaccine to this region, it is also a day to reflect on how far we have come in the past 10 months. It is a time to commend the researchers, scientists and public health professionals who made this day possible. It is a day to mourn those we have lost. And it is a day—like every day—to thank and honor the heroes on the front lines of the fight against this virus. This vaccine is not a cure, it is a call to recommit ourselves to working together. Hope is on the horizon, but we must remain vigilant.”
The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine requires two doses, administered 21 days apart, officials said. The vaccine does not require any out-of-pocket expense for recipients. Officials said the vaccine is shown to be 95 percent effective in the late stages of the vaccine's trials.
Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said, “I want to thank the State of Oklahoma for providing Tulsa with its first phase vaccine supply today that will begin to be distributed to our essential healthcare workers immediately. I know Tulsa’s healthcare and long-term care facility communities are exhausted from this response, and I‘m hoping the initial distribution of this vaccine will provide them some comfort in knowing more help is on the way to protect our neighbors. Although the distribution of a vaccine is welcome news, we still have a long road ahead as a community and each of us must do what we can to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Washing our hands, watching our distance, and wearing a mask remain the best things we can do to support our healthcare heroes.”
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