While most people continue to wait for their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, some Oklahomans are ready for their second dose, and the Tulsa Health Department said it plans every week for that need to be met.
Tulsa Health Department leaders said they will be receiving 8,680 doses for Tulsa County to use next week and holding on to some, to save for second doses.
"We recognize the number of vaccines that are going to be needed for that second dose and are ensuring that there is availability for that second dose,” THD Clinic Services Manager Ellen Niemitalo said.
For those who received a first dose with THD, they ask that you simply return 21 days later for the Pfizer vaccine, or 28 days later for the Moderna vaccine. No appointment is necessary for the second dose if you are getting it through THD.
THD Executive Director Dr. Bruce Dart emphasized the importance of returning to the same place you got your first dose.
"Every vaccine that comes to us is committed to an arm, whether it be first or second dose. So, we don't have extra doses to give for people that might have gone someplace else,” Dr. Dart said.
Dr. Dart also said people should plan to time their second dose visit around the same time of day as your first appointment, and bring your vaccine card with you
Interim Commissioner of Health Lance Frye said after learning last week that no national vaccine reserve exists, the state was left with a decision: push out the first doses, and get everyone who wants a vaccine 50 percent vaccinated, or hold some doses back and get everyone fully vaccinated.
Frye said the state is committed to getting everyone who wants the vaccine fully vaccinated and is prioritizing second doses to make that happen.
"We are prioritizing those appointments when people call up and say they need to get an appointment for their second dose. We're going to fill those first, and of course the rest would go to prime doses,” Frye said.
Dr. Dart said if a second dose is given after the recommended 21 or 28 days, it is still a "valid dose" and the first one does not need to be repeated.