State opens COVID-19 vaccine to Oklahomans in Phase 3 groups
Mike Seals - March 8, 2021 10:37 pm
Child care workers, higher and Career Tech education and critical business infrastructure among Oklahomans now available to schedule appointments
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) announced today that starting March 9, the COVID-19 vaccine will be available to Oklahomans registered in Phase 3 of the state’s vaccine distribution plan: Staff and students in educational settings outside of PreK-12 and critical infrastructure personnel.
This comes on the heels of opening vaccine appointments to all Oklahomans in Phase 2 last week. Oklahoma has consistently ranked among the top states in vaccine distribution and has built a streamlined infrastructure to get vaccine to Oklahomans within seven days of receipt.
“Thanks to increasing vaccine supply and the fluidity of our state distribution plan, we’re excited to open vaccine appointments to our next major priority groups. This also means different counties may be in different stages in the roll out based on their population and needs,” said Keith Reed, Deputy Commissioner of Health. “We worked quickly through our teachers and beat by over a week our goal to have every teacher have the opportunity to be vaccinated by Spring Break. That is giving us an opportunity to open to additional groups quicker than anticipated.”
“Phases 1, 2 and 3 cover nearly 3.5 million Oklahomans — so odds are, you are currently eligible for the vaccine. Please register in the Vaccine Scheduler Portal or talk to your medical provider to check your eligibility. If you’re currently eligible, we are encouraging you to sign up for the first available and convenient appointment for you. Getting a vaccine will not only protect you and others, but it will also help us slow the rate of communal transmission and bring us one step closer to being together again.”
Eligibility in each of these groups is outlined in Oklahoma’s distribution plan as the following:
- Teachers, students aged 18 and older, residents and administrative staff in educational settings outside PreK-12, including but not limited to:
o Childcare facilities
o Early childhood facilities
o Colleges and universities
o Career and vocational technology centers
o Other post-secondary institutions
o Estimated Population: 933,000
- Critical infrastructure personnel as specified in the Governor’s 3rd executive orderwho are at high risk of exposure to, transmission of, and morbidity and mortality resulting from COVID infection.
o Estimated Population: 1,500,000
Oklahomans among the new priority groups are encouraged to register through the state’s Vaccine Scheduler Portal if they haven’t done so already. After registration, they will see available appointments on the portal starting March 9. As a reminder, vaccine appointments are also available through many other local pandemic providers across the state.
“Now that we’ve taken steps to protect our most at-risk populations, it’s time for Oklahomans to be proactive and get their COVID-19 vaccines,” said Commissioner Frye. “Phase 3 includes groups of people that are considerably younger than those outlined in the previous priority groups. Supply is no longer a major limitation in our efforts to administer the vaccine. I encourage all Oklahomans, no matter how old or how healthy you are to schedule a vaccine appointment as soon as it’s available to you. It’s the best thing you can do to protect yourself and those around you.”
The vaccine is available at no cost to all eligible groups in phase 1, 2 and 3. To schedule an appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or to register to receive a notification when you will be eligible, please use the Vaccine Scheduler Portal here: https://vaccinate.oklahoma.gov/.