Nearly 30,000 Oklahomans vaccinated; full anticipated allotment of 180,000 doses by year’s end has arrived
OKLAHOMA CITY — In the first few weeks since the COVID-19 vaccine’s arrival, Oklahoma has administered nearly 30,000 doses across the state, and successfully distributed it to all 77 counties. Additionally, the state reports that the full allotment of 180,000 doses anticipated by year’s end has arrived.
According to data reported to the Washington Post, Oklahoma’s initial weeks of distribution puts the state among the Top 10 states for percent of population vaccinated at .75%.
“We have worked for months on a plan to roll out the COVID-19 vaccine to Oklahomans as efficiently and quickly as possible, and so far, we have seen that plan successfully rolled out. This means we have been able to start to protect nearly 30,000 Oklahomans from this virus, with many thousands more to come in the coming weeks,” said State Commissioner of Health Dr. Lance Frye. “We remain committed to getting this vaccine out the door and into the arms of Oklahomans who need it the most. We wouldn’t be able to do this successfully without the help of strong public and private partnerships throughout the state, including our local and state county health departments, hospitals, long term care facilities, Walgreens and CVS and many others. We know there is more work to do but we are pleased with the results so far.”
Early this week, the State Department of Health reported that it had started administering vaccinations to first responders and the expanded healthcare group, both of which are in phase 2 of the distribution plan. Assuming vaccine supply remains sufficient in the coming weeks, OSDH will begin administering to the 65 and older group next.
“Oklahoma has a plan in place for vaccine distribution, and we are seeing the effective results of this, as we are among the Top 10 states in the nation getting our people vaccinated,” said Gov. Kevin Stitt. “It is my top priority that we continue to get the vaccine to our most at-risk Oklahomans as efficiently and quickly as possible.”
Quick progress through the distribution plan relies on the supply of vaccine doses available and the ability to make it accessible to additional priority groups by distributing it to local providers. As the state continues to receive supply and set up additional access points in communities, they will continue to have the ability to serve additional population groups.
“We have always planned to roll out the vaccine in an overlapping manner versus waiting for 100% completion of one group before starting another,” said OSDH Deputy Commissioner Keith Reed. “This helps ensure efficient use of resources to maximize available vaccine and vaccinators. Moving into a new priority group does not close the door on the previous groups, it simply adds another opportunity for more vaccinations.”
The state unveiled this week its strategy to transition into phase 2, as larger population groups such as those 65+ and Oklahomans with co-morbidities, will require additional points of access to receive the vaccine.
To provide increased access, OSDH is initiating vaccination “PODS” or Points of Dispensing Sites across the state where individuals who are set to begin receiving the vaccine can do so safely in the coming weeks.
Individuals should watch for local public messaging, including via news and social media, to find out when they’re eligible to receive the vaccine. Additionally, an online scheduling tool is expected to go live in the upcoming weeks to help Oklahomans in each priority group find their ability to get the vaccine, as well as the nearest PODS locations and to schedule an appointment when it’s their turn.
Vaccine Plan Reminder
There is no list for Oklahomans to be added to in order to be included in the state’s phased approach to vaccine distribution. However, for up-to-date, detailed information about the vaccine distribution plan and the priority populations included in each phase, please visit oklahoma.gov/COVID19 or call 2-1-1. In addition, for updates on Oklahoma’s vaccine distribution progress, follow OSDH on social media:
● On Facebook: facebook.com/OklahomaHealth
● On Instagram: @HealthyOklahoma