Health leaders in Oklahoma addressing difficulties getting COVID-19 booster vaccine

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Health leaders in the state are providing more details about when you should get your second COVID-19 vaccine dose and how you should do it.

“I know that people that are getting the vaccines, both Pfizer and Moderna, sometimes have difficulty getting back in for that second dose when they were asked to do so,” said Dr. Dale Bratzler, OU Health Enterprise Chief Quality Officer.

Bratzler is addressing difficulties Oklahomans have faced when scheduling their booster COVID-19 vaccine.

“The CDC changed their guidance and said you can wait up to six weeks after your first dose to get the second dose, which gives you a much bigger window of opportunity to get the dose of the vaccine,” he said.

Previously, it was ideal to get your second shot 21 to 28 days after your first– depending on which vaccine you took.

Oklahoma State Department of Health Deputy Commissioner Keith Reed says he knows people have had a difficult time finding booster shot appointments on the state’s vaccine portal.

“The timetable can be flexible so please do not panic if you can’t get your second dose exactly on day 21 or day 28,” Reed said.

Reed says if you’re trying to schedule your second dose on the portal, be sure to select “booster shot.”

“We are very specific and have gone into these clinic sites in the portal and they say ‘booster clinics.’ I want to really urge people that are looking for their first dose, do not go into those particular clinics. Those clinics are set up to meet the need and demand of the second dose clinics,” Reed said.

He says the state is scheduled to receive 86,000 doses within the next week, but that shipment is for both prime and booster shots. 

“Vaccine demand still far exceeds the supply,” Reed said.

If you’re looking to schedule your booster shot, start looking a week out from when you need it.

“That second appointment may not be out there til the week prior. Because remember, there’s a lot of factors that go into these particular pods. We have to make sure the venue is available,” Reed said. “It should not be a lottery to get that dose.”

Reed also says at this time, the state is not looking into making the vaccine available to other people within Phase 2 just yet.

He says they are still focused on vaccinating Oklahoma’s 65 and older population.

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