More than 60,000 doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine are expected to arrive in the state this week.
Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine is the second vaccine that was cleared by the FDA for emergency use.
Governor Kevin Stitt said 66,000 doses of the new vaccine are heading to Oklahoma.
State leaders said this is another step forward to vaccinate more healthcare workers on the frontline.
“By having the vaccine, that’s the beginning of the end where you feel you are at risk every time you walk into the hospital,” OU Health Chief of Infectious Diseases Dr. Douglas Drevets said.
Six sites will receive the first shipments Monday followed by 21 more between Tuesday and Wednesday.
Healthcare workers, long-term care facility staff and residents will be vaccinated first. Public health staff workers are also expected to receive the vaccine.
Officials said the Moderna vaccine is similar to Pfizer’s vaccine.
Thirty-thousand doses of Pfizer’s vaccine have already arrived in Oklahoma. More than 160,000 doses are expected by the end of December.
Medical professionals said early results show both vaccines appear safe.
“There are no preservatives in it,” Dr. Drevets said. “There are no additional chemicals. It is a dead vaccine.”
While the vaccines are a welcome relief, getting them to the masses will still take time as the virus continues to rage. The United States are reporting more than 216,000 daily COVID-19 cases on average. Virus-related deaths also remain at all-time highs.
OU Chief COVID Officer Dr. Dale Bratzler said, vaccinated or not, it’s important for people to still take precautions while out in public.
“The only way to really slow the spread of the virus right now is to reduce the number of people that have acting infection that are out in the community,” Dr. Bratzler said.
An expert committee Sunday placed people over the age of 75 and essential workers like firefighters, teacher, and grocery store workers will be next in line to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
While these vaccines are deemed safe, Dr. Drevets said some people experience symptoms.
“About half of individuals do feel something,” Dr. Drevets said. “They might have muscle ache. They could have headache.”
Gov. Still said nursing home and long-term care vaccinations will also begin this week.