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Local health experts weigh in on vaccinations 'leveling off'

Posted at 7:32 AM, Apr 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-23 13:17:17-04

TULSA, Okla. — Happening Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will meet to make recommendations after pausing the Johnson&Johnson vaccine last week. This comes as health officials nationwide are concerned that fewer people are getting the vaccine.

Current data suggests prime doses are slowing down and thousands of doses are going unused as there's been a 40% drop in vaccinations.

Less than half of the state’s population is fully vaccinated. According to the State Department of Health, only 38% of all adults in Oklahoma have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and only 27% are fully vaccinated.

This comes as Tulsa introduces a new community vaccination center. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, overseeing operations at the facility, just over 400 people received a shot on opening day. The facility was designed to vaccinate 3-thousand people a day.

Dr. Dale Bratzler, Chief Medical Officer for OU Health, says the drop in large-scale vaccination events is to be expected.

“Are we approaching getting the vaccine out to the public in the right way? Because people that wanted the vaccine sought it out,” Dr. Bratzler said. “The question is, what people are looking for now? Large-scale events that they can go to to get vaccinated.”

Doctor Bratzler says vaccine hesitancy needs to be addressed. Health officials are also looking into more ways to help bring awareness to the importance of getting the vaccine.

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