Oklahoma Preparing to Begin COVID Vaccinations for Children
Beverly Cantrell - November 4, 2021 6:55 am
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma health officials said Wednesday they are prepared to begin COVID-19 vaccinations to children aged 5-11 as soon as the vaccines arrive.
Child-sized doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine cleared two final hurdles Tuesday — a recommendation from Centers for Disease Control advisers and approval by CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.
Interim Health Commissioner Keith Reed said Wednesday that the Oklahoma State Department of Health had expected Tuesday’s federal approval of the children’s vaccine.
“OSDH is prepared to start administration as vaccine arrives in the state,” Reed said, without specifying a start date.
On Tuesday, Deputy Health Commissioner Buffy Heater said about 1,800 providers statewide, including pediatric clinics and pharmacies, are enrolled to provide the vaccinations.
Oklahoma expected to receive about 135,000 initial doses of the vaccine, enough for nearly 36% of the state’s 375,000 children aged 5-11.
The Oklahoma and Tulsa city-county health departments, the state’s two largest local health departments, announced Wednesday that they expected to begin receiving vaccine doses next week and would promptly start providing shots.