OSDH unveils vaccination strategy for Phase 2
Mike Seals - December 29, 2020 10:41 pm
Increased access points to be available for larger population groups in communities across the state
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma State Department of Health announced its strategic plan to transition into phase 2 by offering the COVID-19 vaccine to first responders and healthcare workers outside the inpatient setting by utilizing designated distribution points across the state of Oklahoma.
To provide increased access to the COVID-19 vaccine for Oklahomans, OSDH is initiating vaccination “PODS” or Points of Dispensing Sites across the state where individuals who are set to begin receiving the vaccine can do so safely in the coming weeks.
“We’re excited to have the opportunity to expand our vaccine distribution efforts in Oklahoma,” said Dr. Lance Frye, Oklahoma State Commissioner of Health. “PODS will help us provide more efficient access points as we open up the vaccine to larger populations as we continue to gradually move into phase 2 priority groups and beyond.”
Initial groups that will receive the vaccine in PODS include first responders and healthcare workers outside of hospital settings, some of whom have already begun receiving their vaccines. Oklahomans who are 65 and older will also be able to receive the vaccine at PODS locations in the coming weeks. More information about vaccine availability to the 65 and older population will become available as the state receives further information regarding ongoing vaccine supply.
PODS locations are flexible and may be raised in communal locations such as schools, community centers and fairgrounds all across the state. Staffing and logistics will be coordinated with local partners, an effort that reflects a community approach to assisting neighbors in need.
Individuals should watch for local public messaging, including via news and social media, to find out when they’re eligible to receive the vaccine. Additionally, an online scheduling tool is expected to go live in the upcoming weeks to help Oklahomans in each priority group find their ability to get the vaccine, as well as the nearest PODS locations and to schedule an appointment when it’s their turn.
“Our vaccine plan remains fluid and has helped us efficiently distribute the vaccine across Oklahoma,” said Keith Reed, Deputy Commissioner for the State Department of Health. “Raising these PODS across the state will keep our vaccine supply moving into the arms of Oklahomans that need it most. It will allow us to progress through our priority groups as planned and vaccinate as many Oklahomans as we can.”
The first few shipments of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines have arrived in the state and are currently being administered to frontline healthcare workers and residents and staff at nursing homes and long-term care facilities, first responders and other healthcare workers.
Vaccine Plan Reminder
There is no list for Oklahomans to be added to in order to be included in the state’s phased approach to vaccine distribution. However, for up-to-date, detailed information about the vaccine distribution plan and the priority populations included in each phase, please visit oklahoma.gov/COVID19 or call 2-1-1. In addition, for updates on Oklahoma’s vaccine distribution progress, follow OSDH on social media:
On Facebook: facebook.com/OklahomaHealth
On Twitter and Instagram: @HealthyOklahoma