County, state officials work with private clinics to disseminate vaccines

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NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – A private site in Cleveland County is now administering the COVID-19 vaccine as millions of Oklahomans try to receive their inoculations.

The owner of Classen Urgent Care in Norman says he is able to schedule up to 500 vaccinations a week and the patient doesn’t have to go through the county or the state websites.

“I am absolutely excited,” said 66-year-old Richard Carr. 

The Cleveland County resident and his wife are getting their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine at a private clinic in Norman.

They had tried to go through the state and county but…

“The closest place I could get an appointment that had any vaccine was Weatherford, that was 62 miles away and this is five miles away,” said Carr.

The four care facilities in Moore and Norman had applied to be vaccination sites in the fall.

“We are doing our best to try to get people vaccinated however we can,” said Doctor Hussein Torbati.

Once the doses arrived, the county reached out to them to help catch up on vaccinations for Tier One patients like First Responders and health workers.

“It’s our pilot program for how we are going to roll out these vaccines, more widespread, to these private providers. This is just our first shot, and so far, it’s going really well,” said Sarah King of the Cleveland County Health Department.

State officials say there are close to 1,500 other private sites across Oklahoma that are waiting for CDC approval.

Starting last week, the Classen clinics began vaccinating people 65 and older who live in Cleveland County.

It’s estimated they will get about 500 doses each week from the county.

“We have already filled our schedule for all three locations through Thursday. We cannot schedule anyone beyond the number of vaccines we have on hand,” said Dr. Torbati.

County officials say getting seniors vaccinated closer to home is best for everyone involved, and more facilities like Classen should come online once vaccine supplies stabilize.

“So right now, with the vaccine supply that we get, we are limited in how many of those pandemic providers we can really outsource to. So far we are super impressed with what they have been able to do,” said King.

Appointments at the Classen clinics can only be booked online.

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