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Race to vaccinate: How Oklahoma is dealing with COVID-19 vaccine rollout delays

Posted at 5:38 PM, Jan 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-20 14:41:48-05

TULSA, Okla. — The Oklahoma State Department of Health provided a virtual update about the state's COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

The virtual meeting comes after the OSDH learned from Operation Warp Speed that the state would not be getting the number of vaccines initially promised by the federal government.

READ MORE: OSDH frustrated after told vaccine 'stockpile' doesn't exist

Despite that frustrating update, the push to vaccinate Oklahomans continues.

“As of midnight last night, a total of 243,807 vaccines have been administered per our immunization registry of those 31,087 were second doses meaning those individuals have completed their vaccination series. 212,720 people have received the single dose to date,” said Keith Reed, OSDH deputy commissioner.

Reed hopes to vaccinate as many of the 3.9 million Oklahomans as he can, 600,000 Oklahomans are in the 65 and older age group and currently eligible to get a vaccine.

“As of noon today, 505,063 Oklahomans have registered through the portal to receive notifications on eligibility," Reed said. "Of these, 285,695 are eligible within a phase two eligibility priority group to receive the vaccine."

The OSDH is still confident Oklahomans currently waiting to receive a second dose will not be impacted by the revelation of a “non-existent” stockpile.

“I don't want people to be concerned that they're not going to get their second dose. Right now, we are prioritizing the second doses based off of vaccines coming into the state is there the potential that there could be a problem down the road," Reed said. "I'm not saying no to anything right now because we get new information all the time, but as long as we continue with at least this minimum steady cadence of vaccine coming in. I think we're going to be fine on second doses.”

Another question asked how Oklahomans schedule a second dose appointment once they’ve gotten their first?

“If they were given a card, and they said [for] you [to] come back on this date. That is your appointment to come back on that day," Reed said. "Now, if they were not given that, and they were told we will need to schedule you around this date, then yes, the portal is a way in which they can go in and they can schedule for that second booster dose."

The OSDH is working on getting second dose appointments put into the system further out so that Oklahomans can make appointments beyond just a week in advance.

So far, the OSDH has not been contacted by a representative from the Biden administration, but Reed saID when the state hears from them, he will update Oklahomans on any changes to the rollout the new administration may make.

To register for the COVID-19 vaccine, click here.

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