Tens of thousands of open appointments lead to concern COVID-19 vaccine enthusiasm is waning in Oklahoma

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – There are new concerns in the pursuit of herd immunity as tens of thousands of COVID-19 vaccine appointments are being left open in Oklahoma.

Leadership at IMMY Labs expected to end a large-scale pod at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds Tuesday with as many as 13,000 appointments unused.

Now many are wondering why.

“I understand the tribulation of what’s going on in people’s mind because I’m a little bit of a conspiracy theorist myself, but again it’s just a minor step to get back to the real world,” said Tony Mixon, who received his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at Tuesday’s pod. 

“I tell you that’s not to worry. If you’re worried about being tracked, put this away,” said IMMY Labs CEO Dr. Sean Bauman. “If someone was going to track you, they’re already doing it with [your cell phone].”

Bauman says over the last week, they have seen a dip in attendance at their large-scale pods.

He says hesitancy he’s seen has ranged beyond conspiracies.

“I know that there are young folks resisting getting the vaccine because they say, ‘Oh, it wasn’t so bad. I already had COVID. It wasn’t so bad,'” Bauman said. 

However, he and health leaders insist that it is safe and the vaccines are the only way to beat the virus.

According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, 42.6% of the eligible 18 and older population have receive a dose of the vaccine.

While they say vaccination numbers have been consistent, they warn that we may see vaccine complacency as COVID-19 numbers go down and vaccine supply is up.

“Supply is really good. That’s one reason you’re seeing a lot of appointments,” said OSDH Deputy Commissioner Dr. Keith Reed. “The other reason you’re seeing a lot of appointments is that we are continuing to put it in the hands of a lot of providers around the state.”

Health leaders and those getting the shot say they’re hoping for one thing.

“An opportunity to get back to normal,” said Mixon.

IMMY Labs allocates the proper number of vaccines for thawing, so none go to waste. 

If you’d like more information on signing up for upcoming vaccine pods, click here

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