“We just don’t have enough doses,” Mayor Holt discusses COVID-19 vaccination efforts in Oklahoma City

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – After battling the novel coronavirus for 10 months, Oklahomans are ready and willing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Oklahoma is already in the second phase of the state’s vaccine rollout plan, which calls for healthcare workers and residents 65-years-old and older to receive a vaccine.

Each week, thousands of Oklahoma City residents try to book an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

However, many are left frustrated as the appointments seem to disappear in a matter of seconds.

Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt says that while it is a frustrating experience for everyone, no doses are being wasted.

“We just don’t have enough doses. I’m not sure what’s happening in Oklahoma City is the same thing that’s happening in other communities. I hear a lot of national narrative of not getting the doses out. We are not having that problem here in Oklahoma City. It’s entirely run by the Oklahoma City-County Health Department but I stay in pretty close touch with them and we’re not leaving any doses on the shelf. They are getting out the door every week. The way it works is usually about this time in the week, they’ll find out what their allotment is going to be for Oklahoma City in the coming week. And then early in the week, they’ll add a bunch of appointments. And then obviously, as you know and as you hear from your viewers, those appointments go fast. People will jump on the state’s website and it’s almost like a concert in that they go in about five minutes. That’s a frustrating experience for everybody but the reality is OCCHD is getting every dose out the door each week. We’re just not getting enough. For the last few weeks, we’ve been getting about 6,000. I’m told that next week, we’ve now been promised an allotment for our community of between 9 to 10,000 doses. But that is way below the demand. We could probably, well if we had maximum resources, we could probably dose tens of thousands of people every week. There’d certainly be that much demand. OCCHD tells me that if they could get 25- 30,000 doses each week, they can easily put those in arms. Unfortunately, we just aren’t getting those doses from the federal government. Again, it’s very reminiscent of the early days of this pandemic where we didn’t have enough testing supplies. Well now we don’t have enough doses and it’s frustrating but there’s not much we can do here. We’ll just keep trying to get them out the door as soon as we receive them,” Holt told KFOR.

Right now, officials with the Oklahoma State Department of Health say about 28,500 Oklahoma residents have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

In all, the state says it is working to vaccinate all 4 million residents.

In the meantime, health officials across the globe are warning countries about mutations with the current COVID-19 virus.

One such mutation, that was first reported in the United Kingdom, has already spread to the United States.

“Well all of that is concerning. We don’t have any confirmed cases yet in Oklahoma, although who knows, but none confirmed. The two variations that I’ve been briefed on and am most familiar with are really just more contagious than the version that we’re used to. It still seems to be affected by the vaccine, so it’s not a new strain that the vaccine does not affect and that would be, obviously, the most concerning issue. But it just seems like it’s more contagious, so there’s not much we can do other than what we are doing and just redouble those efforts. It’s more inspiration. Knowing that there’s another strain out there that is even more contagious than the one we’ve been experiencing over the last 10 months is really just more impetus to take your precautions, to keep your distance from others, to wear a mask, wash your hands. Knowing you’re even more likely to get something that you’ve been pretty likely to get already if you don’t take your precautions. I hope that people continue to follow this news as we are and just recognize how important it is to take your precautions. You don’t want to get this,” Holt said.

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