Oklahoma to receive first doses of COVID-19 vaccine next week
OSDH announces arrival of Pfizer vaccine Dec. 11, first doses will be reserved for front line health care workers
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) announced today that the first doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is set to arrive in the state as early as Friday, Dec. 11. Initially, Oklahoma expects to receive 33,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
“While we are optimistic about the arrival of a COVID-19 vaccine, we want to remind everyone that the first doses are reserved for our most at-risk populations that will be on the front lines working to fight this virus,” said Commissioner of Health Dr. Lance Frye. “As we work to distribute the vaccine to high-priority populations as outlined in the state’s distribution plan, the best way Oklahomans can help slow the spread of COVID-19 is by continuing to follow the three W’s: wear a mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance.”
Groups such as health care workers, long-term care facility staff members and residents, and public health staff will be the first to receive the vaccination. OSDH anticipates the vaccine will be available to the general public in 2021.
“The distribution of this vaccine is key to protecting Oklahomans’ health and safety, and ultimately ensuring that we can keep our schools and businesses open in the long term,” said Governor Kevin Stitt. “As we work to distribute the vaccine across the state, starting with our frontline health care professionals who are working hard to keep us safe and healthy, I encourage everyone to keep taking the precautions recommended by the CDC and healthcare professionals.”
Oklahoma’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan was submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Oct. 16 and has since gone through a review and approval process. This plan was built by subject matter experts in their respective fields, such as public health experts, medical professionals, epidemiologists and others. The Oklahoma National Guard also provided key logistical expertise to ensure effective vaccine distribution around the state.
To ensure priority populations are the first to receive the COVID-19 virus, pre-determined sites have been identified that will receive initial vaccine shipments. The sites are strategically located and have the storage requirements necessary to manage the requirements of the vaccine.
“Our vaccine distribution plan has to be very fluid, as there are many unknowns in what lies ahead,” said Keith Reed, Deputy Commissioner for the State Department of Health. “Our goal, at the state and local level, is to remain flexible in the coming weeks as we usher in the first doses of the vaccine and work to distribute it to our most vulnerable populations.”
Beginning Dec. 11, the COVID vaccination program team will be actively supporting local public health and provider efforts to ensure the vaccine is available throughout the state.
For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine in Oklahoma, visit https://oklahoma.gov/coronavirus/vaccine-information.html.