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OSDH Weekly Briefing Recap

Thursday, August 19, 2021

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma State Department of Health held a media briefing today, August 19, to provide updates on the state’s response to COVID-19.

Below, please see highlights from the discussion. A recording of the briefing can be found here.


  • Commissioner of Health Dr. Lance Frye urged Oklahomans to get vaccinated this week to protect themselves and their families, combat the current COVID-19 surge and help alleviate pressure on our hospitals.
    • We have heard from many of our major hospital systems this week pleading with Oklahomans to take action. We are very grateful to our frontline workers who are working diligently to keep Oklahomans safe, but they shouldn’t have to be doing this again. We now have a readily available solution: the COVID-19 vaccine.
    • The vaccine works. In the last 30 days, 92% of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state have been among individuals who are unvaccinated.
    • Not only is the vaccine the best way to protect against the spread of COVID-19, it will also alleviate the burden on our hospital systems and provide relief to our frontline workers.
    • The tools we have to fight this virus are proven to work best when they are layered together. We appreciate every effort Oklahomans take, whether it’s getting vaccinated or following the 3 W’s, to protect against the spread of COVID-19.
  • A survey distributed through the Oklahoma Hospital Association was completed this week to provide a clearer picture of staffed beds in the state.
    • After processing the results, we estimate that there are 5,913 staffed beds statewide, with about 946 of those designated as ICU beds.
    • The survey also shows approximately 296 pediatric staffed beds statewide, with about 53 of those designated as ICU beds.
    • As of 8/19, 1,309 of staffed beds were occupied by an individual with COVID-19, representing 22% of total staffed beds.
  • More than two million Oklahomans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
    • Thank you to everyone who has stepped up to get their COVID-19 vaccine.
    • As of today:
      • 3,642,556 total doses have been administered
      • 1,654,529 Oklahomans have completed the full series; this includes:
        • 41.8% of the total population
        • 52.6% of the adult population
        • 76.7% of the 65+ population
      • 2,019,902 Oklahomans have received at least one dose; this includes:
        • 51% of the total population
        • 63.4% of the adult population
        • 81.1% of the 65+ population
  • Yesterday, federal health officials recommended third doses of mRNA (Pfizer or Moderna) vaccine for all eligible Americans eight months after their second dose to protect against waning or decreasing immunity and against variants.
    • At this time, we are awaiting FDA and CDC approval and clinical guidance. Pending these approvals, the federal administration will allow the general public to access a third dose starting the week of Sept. 20.
    • Oklahoma has sufficient vaccine supply and is prepared to administer third doses once we receive word on these approvals.
    • OSDH will provide an update on rollout logistics as soon as we know more from our partners at the FDA and CDC. We are optimistic about the opportunity to provide Oklahomans with an additional layer of protection.
    • Oklahomans should remain confident that this vaccine is extremely effective, but as we see the COVID-19 virus change rapidly with new, more contagious variants, we must ensure we are doing all we can to protect ourselves.
  • Immunocompromised individuals are eligible for a third dose of an mRNA vaccine right now.
    • Last week, the FDA and CDC approved a third dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine for those who are immunocompromised.
      • Immunocompromised people include: Recipients of organ or stem cell transplants, people with advanced or untreated HIV infection, active recipients of treatment for cancer, people who are taking some medications that weaken the immune system and others.
      • A full list of conditions can be found on OSDH’s website.
      • If you have questions about your eligibility for a third dose, we encourage you to talk with your personal care provider.
    • There are several ways to find available appointments:
      • Use the state’s Vaccine Scheduler Portal and select “Book your vaccine appointment here” to schedule your appointment at a convenient location.
      • Use the federal Vaccine Finder at
      • Call 2-1-1 for assistance locating and scheduling an appointment in your area.
      • Contact your local health department, access their website or facebook page, call their main line, to find their hours of operation and walk-in clinic availability.
    • If you are not sure when you received your second dose, you can check the date on your vaccine card to determine when you should schedule your third dose appointment.
      • If you’ve lost your card, you can look up the date of your second dose using Oklahoma’s immunization records system at


Last Modified on Aug 20, 2021
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