Oklahoma begins final stage of Phase 2 vaccination

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Pharmacist Madeline Acquilano draws a syringe of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 at Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Conn., Wednesday, March 3, 2021. The first shipments of the vaccine arrived at the hospital Wednesday morning. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

Pharmacist Madeline Acquilano draws a syringe of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 at Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Conn., Wednesday, March 3, 2021. The first shipments of the vaccine arrived at the hospital Wednesday morning. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) announced today that starting Monday, the COVID-19 vaccine will be available to the remaining priority groups in Phase 2 of the state’s vaccine distribution plan.

This final stage of Phase 2 includes staff and residents in congregate locations, city and county elected officials, and public health staff assisting on the front lines.

“I’m pleased to see the great progress our state has made toward COVID-19 vaccination efforts in such a short period of time,” said Commissioner of Health Dr. Lance Frye. “Our commitment to vaccinating all priority populations is demonstrated through the hard work of our public health officials. Moving forward, I’m optimistic we’ll continue to make consistent progress toward making the vaccine available to all Oklahomans.”

Eligibility in each of these groups is outlined in Oklahoma’s distribution plan as the following:

  • Staff and residents in congregate locations and worksites but not limited to:
    • Homeless shelters
    • Public and private, state and municipal prisons/jails, not including those facilities served by the Federal Bureau of Prisons and involved in the federal allocation plan
    • Certain workplaces where social distancing is not possible, i.e. early child care facilities
    • Certain manufacturing facilities with limited social distancing capacity who are critical to the maintenance of food supply
    • Public transit systems that do not allow for appropriate social distancing.
      • Total estimated population: 19,300
  • Public health staff supporting front line efforts, senior state, county, and city government leaders and elected officials critical to maintain continuity of governmental operations and services
    • Total estimated population: 2,000

“Incoming shipments of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine will increase our overall supply and help meet our resourcing needs to open vaccine appointments to our next Phase 2 priority groups,” said Keith Reed, Deputy Commissioner of Health. “We are confident that our supply is now sufficient for steady vaccinations of all groups outlined in Phase 1 and Phase 2 of our plan, and we’re excited to provide those Oklahomans the opportunity to receive the vaccine. In addition to increased supply, our overlapping approach to the distribution plan has helped us successfully reach as many Oklahomans as possible in a short period of time. If you are eligible and ready for the COVID-19 vaccine, we encourage you to get it right away to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.”

Oklahomans among the new priority groups are encouraged to register through the state’s Vaccine Scheduler Portal if they haven’t done so already.

After registration, they will see available appointments on the portal starting the week of March 8.

Vaccine appointments are also available through many other local pandemic providers across the state.

OSDH says it will also be working directly with congregate care providers and others to coordinate targeted vaccine rollout in specific facilities across the state.

“COVID-19 vaccines are increasingly accessible with each new shipment and we’re hopeful that more Oklahomans will choose to receive one when it’s available to them,” said Commissioner Frye. “I know warmer weather is approaching and we’re wishing to gather with one another again soon. We still have some work to do before we can get to a new normal. We have to keep working together by wearing our masks, washing our hands and watching our distance as we vaccinate more Oklahomans.”

The vaccine is available at no cost to all eligible groups.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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