Oklahoma health leaders say over 110,000 people at least two weeks overdue for second vaccine dose


A typo in the original story has been corrected.

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – State health leaders said data with the Oklahoma State Department of Health shows more than 110,000 people are at least two weeks overdue for their second COVID-19 vaccination shot Friday. This is as mask mandates expire and the COVID-19 state of emergency is lifted.

Both the state health leaders and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the second shot is crucial for the state and the nation to get all the way out of the pandemic.

“The role of municipal government in halting the spread of the virus has now ended as it was always meant too,” said Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt at a news conference Friday morning.

“It’s very, very important to get that second dose,” said Dr. Dale Bratzler, the University of Oklahoma’s chief COVID officer.

The state of Oklahoma is in a far different spot now than where it was in 2020 in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Bratzler said 28 to 29 percent of Oklahomans are fully vaccinated. About 38 to 39 percent have received at least one dose.

“So, we still have quite a ways to go to get to herd immunity, at least based on vaccination,” he said.

Photo goes with story
A health care worker administering the COVID-19 vaccine at Oklahoma State Fair Park.

However, Bratzler said the news doesn’t come without some concern.

“Anywhere from 8 to 10 percent of the people to whom we give a first dose don’t show up for the second dose,” Bratzler said.

According to Bratzler, the second shot is extremely important. Especially for people who are immuno-suppressed.

“The first dose primes your immune system, the second dose ramps it up and gives you really high antibody levels,” he said. “If you get the second dose then we know that rises up much higher, 92 to 95 percent effectiveness.”

COVID-19 vaccine
Oklahoma doctors say COVID-19 vaccine could speed up timeline to achieve herd immunity (Photo: KFOR)

Pfizer’s second dose comes 21 days after the first dose. Moderna’s is set to come 28 days after the first dose.

“There is no maximum interval between dose one and dose two,” Bratzler said.

The state is down to 250 cases per day. Confirmed COVID-19 cases that have caused deaths hover around a 1.8 percent death rate. Due to people who may have had COVID but never got tested. Bratzler said this number is likely lower. However, there are still fears of flare-ups with a population half vaccinated or not vaccinated at all.

“We could have a case outbreak,” Bratzler said.

“Now, it’s be smart,” said Phil Maytubby, Chief Operating Officer of the Oklahoma City-County Health Department. “If you walk into a situation where you don’t know if they’re vaccinated or not, put your mask on. We’re not telling you; you have to wear it all the time. Wear it when you need to.”

Bratzler said it is recommended that no one start the vaccination series over. It is recommended that you seek out the second dose as best you can if you have already had your first one.

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