Okla. Could Be In Phase 2 Of COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan Next Week

Wednesday, December 23rd 2020, 5:05 am
By: Erica Rankin

Oklahoma is moving quickly through phase one of its four phase vaccine distribution plan.

Nursing home operators said about 30 days from now their facilities will be some of the safest places for seniors, instead of some of the most dangerous.

The first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were given to nursing home residents and staff Tuesday morning.

Experts say it takes about a month for the vaccine to take full effect - blocking COVID-19 at about 95 percent. That happens after the second shot, the booster, is given. 

Nursing home operators are expecting about 90% of residents to get the vaccine.

The federal operation warp speed is allowing pharmacy techs with CVS and Walgreens to help with vaccinations at long-term care facilities.

CVS says all facilities should have access to the shots within three weeks.

State Health Commissioner Lance Frye says he's hopeful Oklahoma will be in phase two of the vaccine distribution plan as early as next week.

“With more shipments of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines slated to arrive in the coming weeks, we'll keep moving forward with our vaccination plan to help get it those who need it most," said Lance Frye.

Phase two will include more health care workers, teachers who were bumped up last week plus adults 65 and older and adults with comorbidities.

Frye estimates nearly 175,000 Oklahomans could be vaccinated by the end of the year.