The Oklahoma City-County Health Department said it wants to make sure everyone has access to COVID-19 vaccines, even if it means bringing the shot to you.
OCCHD parked its mobile vaccine at Sunday’s Cinco De Mayo Festival at Scissortail Park. Inside the van were 200 COVID-19 vaccines ready to be administered.
“We've already vaccinated about a dozen or so individuals today,” OCCHD spokesperson L’Toya Knighten said. “Many of them are from the Spanish-speaking community, but also all demographics are represented here today down at Scissortail Park.”
The department had the Johnson & Johnson along with the Pfizer vaccines on hand. Its mission with the mobile vaccination van is to provide a quick and easy process.
“I was planning on getting the vaccine before, but I thought I had to make an appointment, so it came in really handy right now,” Marilu Reed said. “I was walking by with my husband and they offered to give me the shot.”
Last week, OCCHD reported half a million vaccines have been administered and about half of those are fully vaccinated here in Oklahoma County. Less than 40 percent of the 16 and older population are fully vaccinated.
“We know that there are still individuals still out there, particularly individuals who are 18 to 35 years of age, who may still feel like they don't need the vaccine or coronavirus isn't going to impact them,” Knighten said.
In order to bridge the gap, the department hopes to bring vaccines to events like Sunday’s will help reduce hesitancy.
“Unfortunately, we're starting to see hospitalizations in our younger demographic, and so that's why it's so important for us that we are coming out to the community where young people are,” Knighten said.
The OCCHD said Sunday’s vaccine event at Scissortail Park was the largest it has hosted its vaccine van, and it plans to stage more in the future.
County residents can also schedule an appointment online for the COVID-19 vaccine.