Oklahoma State Department of Health prioritizing vaccinating 65 and up group, 103,000 vaccines on the way

Coronavirus

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The state is continuing with vaccination efforts of prioritizing Oklahomans ages 65 and up.

“I feel like it would be very unfair to this group for us to to quickly bring on another group and create unfair competition,” said Keith Reed, Oklahoma State Department of Health Deputy Commissioner.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Oklahoma State Department of Health announced out of all the Oklahomans registered on the state’s vaccine portal, only 28 percent of the 65 and up population have received their first dose.

Deputy Commissioner Keith Reed added that until more in this age group are vaccinated, the state isn’t ready to move to the next phase of vaccine distribution.

The same day, the state reported 65 COVID-19 deaths, a record number. Reed said of those deaths, 50 of them were in the 65 and up age group.

“We’ve got to really make sure that we get this particular group ample opportunity to get vaccinated,” Reed said.

Earlier in the day, the Oklahoma City-County Health Department (OCCHD) gave out 1,600 vaccine doses. 

FILE – In this Jan. 9, 2021, file photo, vials of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are placed next to a loaded syringe in Throop, Pa. (Christopher Dolan/The Times-Tribune via AP, File)

Half of the appointments were made using the state’s portal, while the other half were filled by community partners.

“By only making appointments available to those who have internet or computer access, we’re not gonna reach the whole population. We’re not gonna get that herd immunity that we need to get. So, we need to be able to reach those underserved communities across the city, across the county, in able to get that,” said Molly Flemming with OCCHD.

Flemming said the county is able to distribute vaccines quickly, but more vaccines are needed.

“We asked for 25,000 doses every single week. We have yet to get it, which is very frustrating because we are the largest, most populated county in the state and we get less than 10,000 doses every week so far,” Flemming said.

The state is expecting 103,350 new doses next week, but the majority of the supply will be going to second doses.

“That’s because we are reaching the four week mark from when we first started these large scale clinics. We have many Oklahomans that are coming due in the next one to two weeks,” Reed said.

The state said much of that additional vaccine coming in is due to an increase in Moderna supply. They are expecting that number of new doses to be consistent over the next three weeks.

Continued Coronavirus Coverage

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