State Health Officials Frustrated With COVID-19 Vaccine Inventory

Friday, January 15th 2021, 10:50 pm
By: Erica Rankin


State health officials said they had the rug pulled out from under them after Operation Warp Speed officials said second doses weren’t being held back like expected.

"I am banging my head too,” said Keith Reed, the Deputy Commissioner of Health. “Our whole team is. It is frustrating when it isn’t so much about moving the goal post as it is changing the rules of the game when we are playing it.”

The announcement was unexpected.

"The communication with that announcement was that we would expect to see doses that were held in reserve would be given to us and we thought that would be a nice boost of vaccine coming to the state,” said Reed.

That ended up not being the case.

“While initially they apparently were holding back the second doses,” said Reed. “At the end of December, they made a decision not to hold back those doses.”

Despite the setback Reed promised they are still working diligently to get vaccines in the arms of those who are eligible.

Right now, Oklahoma is set to receive just over 48,000 doses of prime and just shy of 33,000 boost vaccines next week.

"We feel strongly that if we get vaccine into people and show inventory is our issue, and we can be good stewards of the inventory and move quickly, the stronger argument we can make to the federal government to give us more inventory,” said Reed.

In the meantime, Reed is asking for Oklahomans’ patience.