The Oklahoma State Department of Health is opening COVID-19 vaccination appointments to residents of other states.
This will go into effect on Thursday, April 8, and Oklahoma will be one of the first states in the United States to allow other states' residents to receive the vaccine.
The state health department announced it will remove the Oklahoma residency requirement due to increasing supply and continued progress in the state's vaccination efforts.
“While our focus has been and will continue to be on vaccinating Oklahomans, we have always known there would be a point at which supply and increasing capacity would allow us to welcome residents from neighboring states into Oklahoma to get vaccinated,” OSDH Deputy Commissioner Keith Reed said in a news release. “We are now reaching that point and are happy to extend a welcome to our neighbors as part of our efforts to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in the region. This virus does not adhere to boundaries drawn on a map, so by ensuring high vaccination rates across the region — not just Oklahoma — we are providing an extra layer of protection for our residents.”
Residents from neighboring states and other parts of the country will be allowed to make COVID-19 vaccine appointments starting Thursday.
Last week, OSDH announced the state administered more than 2 million doses.
The vaccine is currently available at no cost to all Oklahomans 16+. For 16- and 17-year-olds, they can receive the Pfizer vaccine with parental consent and with a parent present at the vaccination site. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are available to those 18+.
“This is the right thing to do for our neighbors,” Reed said in a news release. “We hope to see other states that have fared well in administration rates follow suit as we all continue to work together to bring an end to this pandemic.”
Oklahomans 16+ are encouraged to register through the state’s Vaccine Scheduler Portal at vaccinate.ok.gov if they haven’t done so already, and schedule an appointment as soon as possible.