Oklahoma vaccinations getting back on track after storm
Mike Seals - February 23, 2021 10:59 pm
by Ken Miller
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma hopes to be back on schedule for coronavirus vaccinations by next week following a powerful storm that forced clinics to postpone inoculations and delayed shipments of the medicine, the state’s deputy health commissioner said Tuesday.
“The week of bad weather kind of threw us off … and we’ve had to reschedule quite a few of those appointments” last week, Keith Reed said. “I would like to be at a steady state where we’re at least burning through the vaccine that comes into the state within seven days.”
A delayed shipment of about 110,000 doses began arriving on Monday and about 137,000 more doses are expected by the end of the week, said Reed, who added that nearly 800,000 doses had been administered in Oklahoma thus far.
The state Department of Health on Tuesday reported 359 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 24 more deaths, continuing a welcome decline in daily totals. The state recorded an average of 797 daily cases during the seven-day period that ended Monday, which was less than half of the 2,018 it recorded during the seven-day period that ended Feb. 8, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Average daily COVID-19 deaths during those periods also declined, from 36 to 23.
The latest figures pushed Oklahoma’s pandemic totals to 420,212 confirmed cases and 4,227 COVID-19 deaths, the health department reported.
As for vaccinations, Oklahoma had the 15th highest rate in the nation, with 15% of its population having received at least one dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Oklahoma had the 13th highest infection rate, with nearly 377 new cases per 100,000 residents, according to the Johns Hopkins data.
Meanwhile, the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association, which oversees high school extracurricular events, said attendance at high school basketball tournaments that began this week in Oklahoma City and Tulsa would be limited. Games in Oklahoma City would be kept to 25% of capacity, or about 2,100 people, while the capacity limit in Tulsa was still being determined but would be no more than 50% capacity, said the group’s director, David Jackson.
He said the limits weren’t ideal but were necessary to protect people’s health.