TULSA, Okla. — COVID-19 vaccine clinics are back up and running after being shut down for multiple days due to winter weather.
The Tulsa Health Department paused new appointments for this week as it rescheduled about 8,000 vaccinations.
“We want to vaccinate everyone who wants to receive a vaccine, but this process, realistically, is going to take some time," said Dr. Bruce Dart, executive director with THD.
This week’s weather is also affecting the state’s vaccine shipment. This week’s allotment of 110,000 doses is still not here yet. The Oklahoma State Department of Health said while the incoming vaccine supply will not be affected, the timeline for distribution may be impacted.
“It is scheduled at this point to come in on Saturday," said Keith Reed, deputy commissioner of the OSDH. "And it should come in in time for us to be able to continue our operations moving forward to next week and then we should be right on schedule.”
The state is expecting to receive 137,000 doses next week as it opens appointments to one million Oklahomans with comorbidities and pre-K through 12th grade teachers and staff.
There is some worry about the 65 and older population getting left behind as more people start registering for the vaccine. But, Reed said it’s planning clinics specifically for that group, especially those needing their second dose.
"Just because we’ve opened up to a new group, we’re certainly not closing the door on this group," Reed said. "And we’ll monitor if we need to do maybe some special clinics that are outside of our portal to get them taken care of, we’ll do that as well.”
Reed said clinics will take place over the weekend.
Meanwhile, there is good news for Tulsa County as COVID numbers trend downward. Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said hospitalizations are at their lowest since early October.
While everyone is asked to keep taking precautions, leaders are hopeful.
“The last year has thrown a lot of challenges at our communities," Dr. Dart said. "I’ve been amazed at the resiliency of all Tulsa County residents. And I know everyone is eager for warm, brighter, and safer days ahead. And they will come.”
Those eligible for the vaccine on Monday will start to get email notifications about it this weekend. For teachers and school staff, the state health department recommends receiving the vaccine through your school district.
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