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Waiting for the Vaccine: People with co-morbidities anxious for protection

Posted at 11:16 PM, Feb 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-11 10:10:11-05

TULSA, Okla. — No matter how sick with cancer, lupus or heart disease, and other ailments, patients under 65 still can't get the vaccine.

Every day, viewers call and email the 2 Works for You newsroom voicing their concerns that their conditions put them at a higher risk of catching and possibly dying from the virus.

It's also frustrating for physicians like Dr. Edward Yob, COVID-19 task force chair at Oklahoma Cancer Specialists and Research Institute.

"I send a lot of emails to the health department asking when we can open this up to people under 65, who in many cases are much sicker than the patients over 65. So, we are kind of in a quandary," Dr. Yob said.

Right now, physicians can only offer it to patients on the current priority list.

"In essence, the treating physician orders the vaccine, and they are put into a waiting list and then we call and schedule as we get vaccine available," Dr. Yob said.

As the vaccine rollout moves closer to phase 1-B, people over 16 with co-morbidities, some have asked, 'Will I have to prove it?'

"We're looking for honesty from Oklahomans," said Keith Reed, deputy commissioner of the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

The state said they're hoping healthcare providers will help them out.

"We definitely want to make sure that we're partnering with cancer centers, with dialysis centers, those groups that are actually providing care to people that fall into many of these categories," Reed said.

Dr. Yob believes it won't be long before more of his patients and their spouses who are ill can get the vaccine.

"I get this question all of the time, 'Which vaccine should I get?' You should get the first one that's offered to you. Period," he said.

We may hear something Thursday when Governor Kevin Stitt and state officials announce the next steps in Oklahoma's COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan.

Dr. Yob suggests emailing state and county health departments to let them know you are waiting for your chance at being protected from the coronavirus.

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