The last week of February will be a big week for Oklahoma’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts with 137,000 doses arriving to the state.
Kindergarten through 12th grade teachers and Oklahomans of any age with serious health conditions will be eligible to get one of the shots starting Monday.
“The weather has been a setback but only a temporary one,” Oklahoma deputy health commissioner Keith Reed said. “We will make up ground rapidly and continue to get vaccine in the arms of Oklahomans.”
Some good news following a winter storm set back: Reed said the state will receive an additional 25% increase in vaccine supply from Pfizer this week.
An estimated 635,000 Oklahomans with comorbidities including hypertension, obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, chronic lung, liver or renal disease and cancers will be eligible for the vaccine.
Nearly 90,000 teachers will also become eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine Monday.
The state health department said a large vaccination clinic with IMMYLabs in Norman is scheduled for Monday. The clinic will kick off new rounds of vaccinations that quickly ran out of appointments.
“We are anticipating IMMY(Labs) and their partners will distribute a total of 10,000 doses at this event,” Reed said. “This clinic will vaccinate approximately 2,000 Oklahomans over 65; 3,500 teachers and 4,500 Oklahomans with comorbidities.”
Reed told a congressional health panel Friday that the state's ability to quickly open appointments to additional groups is one reason Oklahoma is among vaccination leaders across the country.
However, Reed said they are also careful to keep open appointments for earlier groups such as people over 65 and older.
“We’ve got a lot of focus still on our 65-plus population. Just because we open to a new group, we certainly are not closing doors to this group,” Reed said.
Reed said the state will also begin distributing vaccines to dialysis centers across the state.