Officials: Phase Two of vaccine distribution Possible Next Week
Mike Seals - December 25, 2020 11:15 am
OKLAHOMA CITY — More than 130,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have arrived in Oklahoma with nearly 44,000 additional doses set to be here before the end of the month.
We asked state health leaders when people outside health care and nursing homes could get the vaccine, and they said they could possibly move to phase two of the distribution plan starting next week.
Officials said they don’t sit on vaccines and want to get Oklahomans vaccinated as soon as possible.
According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, 75% of vaccine doses the state received last week are already into arms of Oklahomans. Now they want to get the ball rolling on phase two possibly by next week.
“When it’s time to roll out to those groups, we want to do public messaging to reach out to them and direct them to where they can go to get signed up for an appointment to get their vaccination,” OSDH Deputy Commissioner Keith Reed said.
Reed said the rollout of phase two won’t affect the groups in phase one who haven’t received the vaccine yet.
“It simply means we’ve got enough vaccine out there in the locations that we can continue vaccinating people in the phase one priority groups and still make good use of additional vaccine inventory and access points to start these other groups,” Reed said. “And because of that, you may see that some parts of the state start to shift into phase two groups at a little different timeline than some other parts of the state. It depends on resources the number of people getting vaccinated uptake access points.”
Reed said we’re still some months away from the general public getting the vaccine.
“That’s why we want to remind everybody that this is not an immediate solution. I feel like this is our hope, this gives us something to look toward, but we’ve got to make sure that we focus on those mitigation efforts,” Reed said.
Some of the first groups to get the vaccine in phase two would be first responders and health care workers working with COVID-19 patients. Adults 65 and older and teachers would be next.
Prison staff and inmates also fall within phase two right after teachers.