OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma health officials are concerned about the alarmingly low vaccination rates among youth between ages 12 and 17, as schools prepare to reopen and the COVID-19 pandemic surges.
Top state and U.S. health officials agree that getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is essential to both protecting oneself against coronavirus and helping the nation overcome the pandemic, which is once again surging because of the highly-contagious Delta variant.
“If we look at 12 to 17-year-olds that can [get the vaccine], only about 20-percent or so have been vaccinated,” Dr. Dale Bratzler, OU Health’s Chief COVID-19 Office, said while recently speaking to KFOR.
Health officials strongly encourage people ages 12 and above to get vaccinated.
While vaccination rates are gradually increasing among Oklahoma adults, the vaccination rate for Oklahomans ages 12 to 17 are low. Only 15.1 percent of the state’s 12-17 age group are fully vaccinated against the virus, while 22.6 have received one dose, according to Oklahoma State Department of Health data.
Dr. Melinda Cail, with Edmond-based Primary Health Partners, joined KFOR on Thursday to discuss the importance of getting adolescents 12 and up vaccinated against COVID-19, and to debunk vaccine myths that could be deterring parents from getting their kids vaccinated.
Watch the above video for Dr. Cail’s insight into this pressing issue.
Dr. Cail also provided the following fact sheet that exposes COVID-19 vaccine myths:
Click the below file to download the fact sheet:
The Oklahoma City-County Health Department added a consent form to its VaxOKC website to make it easier for parents and guardians to get their kids vaccinated at upcoming OCCHD-operated COVID-19 vaccination events, which currently includes all three OCCHD clinics and a back-to-school event being held Saturday, Aug. 7 at Wildewood Baptist Church, 6900 N. Kelley Ave.
The form can be found at VaxOKC.com under the “Forms” tab. Parents and guardians are encouraged to print the form, fill it out and bring it with their child to the vaccination event. The form is only required for young people between the ages of 12 and 17 years old. Go to www.vaxokc.com for vaccination event locations.
Consent forms can also be picked up at any of the 19 Metropolitan Library locations.
Go to primary-healthpartners.com for more information about Dr. Cail’s practice.