Health leaders say ‘vaccine hunting’ should subside with more supplies on the way

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – “I spent a huge amount of time, hours on the computer and on the phone,” said Dr. Stephen Prescott, President of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. 

Dr. Prescott is one of hundreds of thousands who spent days hunting for a vaccine.

“I’ve got a great computer, I’ve got IT backup that helps me with everything like that, I couldn’t figure out how the hell to get an appointment anywhere,” said Dr. Prescott. 

A sentiment shared by many Oklahomans that’s forcing people across the state and even the country to go ‘vaccine hunting.’

The nation has even seen people flying across the country just to get an appointment. 

“It was so frustrating that even people who wanted to behave well, were tempted to game the system so that part of the hunting was a little unfair,” said Dr. Prescott. 

So why was this even necessary?

Doctor Prescott says because the rollout was slower than anticipated up front, from the federal level to the local, people were desperate for an appointment. 

With Johnson & Johnson added to the mix, he says the problem should die down. 

We’ve also done a good job in our state of not wasting any vaccine. 

“Our partners have gotten really good at planning for how much vaccine needs to pull out of the refrigerator or out of the freezer,” said Keith Reed, with the Oklahoma State Department of Health. 

All leftover at the end of pods, going right back into people’s arms. 

Health leaders hoping hunting for the vaccine will no longer be necessary. 

“If I could wave a magic wand and be done today then we’d be done,” said Dr. Prescott.

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