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Healthcare workers wait for vaccine amid new vaccination efforts statewide

Posted at 7:11 PM, Jan 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-26 10:23:32-05

TULSA, Okla. — The Tulsa Health Department said it's ramping-up vaccinations. The department is working with dozens of vaccine distributors across the state to increase “points of access” for the public.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health is asking local health departments to burn through their vaccine supply as soon as possible. THD reported Monday that it's holding-back giving second doses to allow more people to get their “prime” doses.

The health department is also partnering with twenty distribution providers to increase “points of access” for the public. “Strike teams” are also being deployed to vaccinate teachers over 65 as well as residents and staff in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

7,680 doses are allocated to Tulsa county this week. 2,000 of those doses will go towards “strike teams.” The remaining 5,000 will go towards appointments already scheduled through the state’s vaccination portal.

Still, Dr. Bruce Dart, executive director with the Tulsa Health Department, said he is aware of the issues on the state’s vaccine portal. He said their hands are tied as they can only schedule appointments based on the number of vaccines allocated by Operation Warp Speed.

“The more vaccines we get, the more vaccines we can put in the arms," Dr. Dart said. "So, right now we’re doing the work we’re doing based on the allotments we get."

This comes on the heels of a third vaccine on the brink of approval by the FDA. Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine could be rolled out in as little as two weeks. Dr. Dart said a third vaccine for distribution would be a “game-changer” in the vaccine rollout.

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