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Oklahoma opens vaccine eligibility to phase 3 groups

COVID-19 vaccine
Posted at 3:38 PM, Mar 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-08 23:58:16-05

TULSA, Okla. — The Oklahoma State Department of Health is opening COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all phase three priority groups of the state’s vaccine distribution plan, starting Tuesday, March 9.

This comes after vaccine appointments became available to all Oklahomans in phase two last week. According to OSDH, Oklahoma has consistently ranked among the top states in vaccine distribution and has built a streamlined infrastructure to get vaccine to Oklahomans within seven days of receipt.

“Thanks to increasing vaccine supply and the fluidity of our state distribution plan, we’re excited to open vaccine appointments to our next major priority groups. This also means different counties may be in different stages in the roll out based on their population and needs,” Deputy Commissioner of Health Keith Reed said. “We worked quickly through our teachers and beat by over a week our goal to have every teacher have the opportunity to be vaccinated by Spring Break. That is giving us an opportunity to open to additional groups quicker than anticipated.”

Reed added, “Phases 1, 2 and 3 cover nearly 3.5 million Oklahomans — so odds are, you are currently eligible for the vaccine. Please register in the Vaccine Scheduler Portal or talk to your medical provider to check your eligibility. If you’re currently eligible, we are encouraging you to sign up for the first available and convenient appointment for you. Getting a vaccine will not only protect you and others, but it will also help us slow the rate of communal transmission and bring us one step closer to being together again.”

Phase three groups include the following:

  • Teachers, students aged 18 and older, residents and administrative staff in educational settings outside PreK-12, including but not limited to:
    • Childcare facilities
    • Early childhood facilities
    • Colleges and universities
    • Career and vocational technology centers
    • Other post-secondary institutions
    • Estimated Population: 933,000
  • Critical infrastructure personnel as specified in the governor's 3rd executive order who are at high risk of exposure to, transmission of, and morbidity and mortality resulting from COVID infection.
    • Estimated Population: 1,500,000

The department said new appointments for phase three will post to the Vaccine Scheduler Portal at midnight. Vaccine appointments are also available through many other local pandemic providers across the state.

“Now that we’ve taken steps to protect our most at-risk populations, it’s time for Oklahomans to be proactive and get their COVID-19 vaccines,” Commissioner Lance Frye said. “Phase 3 includes groups of people that are considerably younger than those outlined in the previous priority groups. Supply is no longer a major limitation in our efforts to administer the vaccine. I encourage all Oklahomans, no matter how old or how healthy you are to schedule a vaccine appointment as soon as it’s available to you. It’s the best thing you can do to protect yourself and those around you.”

RELATED STORY: STARTING MONDAY: Oklahoma to vaccinate remaining phase 2 groups

The vaccine is available at no cost to all eligible groups in phase one, two and three. For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine phases, click here.

To schedule an appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or to register to receive a notification when you will be eligible, click here.

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