Skip to main content

Vaccine FAQS


Vaccine Scheduler Portal

The Vaccine Scheduler Portal is an online scheduling tool to help Oklahomans determine when they are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and help them schedule an appointment when it is their turn.

You can access the portal using your computer or mobile phone at http://vaccinate.oklahoma.gov/.

  • If you can’t access the internet or need assistance accessing the portal, we recommend you ask a family member or friend to assist you with the registration process.
  • If you prefer to use a phone, you can check your vaccine eligibility via phone.
  • Call 211 to determine if you’re eligible for an appointment.
  • We strongly encourage Oklahomans to use the portal if they are able for a quicker, more efficient registration.  

  • Anyone is able to pre-register and enter their information. However, only Oklahoma residents who are 65 years of age or older, as well as healthcare workers and first responders will be able to schedule appointments in the system.
  • If you are not part of the current phases, you will be given the option to be notified when the vaccine becomes available to you, and when appointments become available once your phase is active.
  • Please note that eligibility does not guarantee an appointment will be available to you. Appointment availability is solely dependent on vaccine supply in each county.

  • Pre-registration allows anyone in Oklahoma to register their contact information with the Oklahoma State Department of Health and indicate that they would like to be notified when the vaccine is available to them.
  • After you enter your information, if you’re eligible to receive the vaccine, you will receive an email with instructions on how to schedule your appointment.

  • The distribution of the vaccine is broken out into four broad phases in our plan. This allows us to plan generally for different scenarios, given the availability of a vaccine to the state.
  • Priority groups and populations are divided out by the four phases outlined.
    • Phase One
      • Long-term care residents and staff
      • Healthcare workers providing direct inpatient care
      • Public health staff conducting frontline COVID-19 pandemic mitigation
      • Oklahoma state licensed Emergency Medical Technicians and paramedics
    • Phase Two
      • First responders, paid and unpaid
      • Healthcare workers providing direct COVID-19 outpatient care and services
      • Adults age 65 and older
      • Adults of any age with comorbidities
      • Teachers and staff in PreK-12 schools and educational settings
      • Staff and residents in congregate locations and worksites
      • Public health staff supporting frontline efforts
    • Phase Three
    • Phase Four
      • All Oklahoma residents

  • No, registering will not change when you receive your vaccine. There is no list for Oklahomans to be added to in order to be included in the state’s phased approach to vaccine distribution.
  • However, registering and providing your contact information will make it easier for the state to notify you when it is your turn.

  • When you use the portal to enter your information, a message will be sent to the email address you provide to let you know if you are eligible to receive the vaccine at this time.
    • If you are part of a priority group currently eligible to receive the vaccine, you will be able to schedule your appointment. The email will direct you to the portal to schedule your appointment.
    • If you are part of a priority group currently eligible to receive the vaccine, and are unable to schedule an appointment at the time of your registration due to vaccine supply constraints in your area, you can sign up for the system to notify you via email once additional appointments are available near you. Appointments will be updated weekly as additional vaccine supply becomes available.
    • If you are not yet eligible for the vaccine, the system will indicate this when you register your information. You can choose to receive an email when you become eligible based on Oklahoma’s priority phase plan, and will receive instructions on scheduling your appointment at that time.

  • This is likely because you’re not in the current phase group, but you will be notified when the vaccine is available to you.
  • It should be noted that registering early does not guarantee an appointment slot when your phase opens; it simply makes the booking process quicker.

  • The same email may be used to register people in your household, however each registration must be entered separately. You may register other members of your household by entering their individual information into the system. As appointments become available for each individual, they will be notified via email.

  • The portal currently does not support additional languages. However, an upcoming update of the system will have Spanish capabilities. We will provide more information as it becomes available regarding upcoming updates to the registration system.  

  • Due to system security, If you begin filling out the registration form or scheduling an appointment and abandon it midway through, it’s likely you will have to wait 24 hours before you can access the forms again using your previously supplied email address.

  • The portal does not allow for changes after a form is submitted.
  • If you made a mistake on your registration or need to update information, individuals will need to register their information again with a new email address.

Scheduling Your First Appointment

  • If you are part of a priority group currently eligible to receive the vaccine, you will be able to register immediately for your appointment. The email you receive after registration will direct you back to the portal to schedule your appointment based on vaccine availability at the location you select.
  • Once you schedule your appointment, a confirmation email will be sent to you with a QR code and a record of your appointment time and location.
  • You will also receive email reminders as your appointment date approaches.
  • You will need a photo ID and the QR code from your confirmation email to check in to your appointment on the day of.

  • If you qualify to sign up for an appointment at this point in time, you should receive a link to sign up for an appointment once they become available starting on Thursday, Jan. 7.
  • Due to the high volume of sign-ups at this time, it’s possible that time slots may be limited. It’s important to note that appointment availability is dependent on the current vaccine supply in each county. We recommend checking back weekly on Thursdays for more available appointment slots.

  • The number of appointments depends on the availability of the vaccine. The state and counties receive a weekly supply of the vaccine that determines the number of appointments that can be booked. With demand being so high, it is expected that time slots will fill up quickly.
  • If all slots are filled, you can check back periodically for the next available appointment. The best times each week to check for appointments are between 5 p.m. on Wednesday and 8 a.m. on Thursday.

  • You will be able to cancel or reschedule your appointment through the Vaccine Scheduler Portal. However, because these appointments are in high demand we ask that you schedule carefully to avoid any potential conflicts.

  • Unfortunately, if you miss your appointment you will have to reschedule and book another appointment at the next available time slot. As these time slots are high in demand, please remember to mark your calendars and set reminders in order to avoid missing appointments.

  • The COVID-19 vaccines currently in use require a second dose. You need both doses in order for the vaccine to work correctly.
  • Once you attend your first vaccine appointment, you will receive a follow-up email with a countdown and an opportunity to schedule your second dose appointment.

  • When you’re eligible to receive the vaccine, you’ll receive an email with a direct link that is unique to you to sign up for available appointments. We recommend bookmarking or keeping this link handy in your inbox as you will need to use it to check back for new appointment slots each week.
  • If you’re having trouble finding available appointments, we encourage you to check back periodically throughout the week for new openings. The best time each week to check for new appointments is between 5 p.m. on Wednesday and 8 a.m. on Thursday.

Scheduling Your Second Appointment

  • Because there are a number of ways that you may have scheduled your first dose, and because individual local providers have different procedures for vaccine appointment follow-up, you may or may not have received specific instructions for scheduling your second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • We encourage all Oklahomans to be their own best patient advocate and to ask during their first dose appointment what the best process is for scheduling the second dose.
  • Below, please see solutions for scheduling your second dose appointment, depending on how you scheduled your first:
    • Path A: If you received specific instructions from the staff at the time you received your first dose, follow those instructions.
      • They may have given you a card or told you to come back at a certain day/time to receive your second dose. This is your appointment.
      • You do not need to schedule an appointment, they have already set it for you.
    • Path B: If you used the portal to register and schedule your first dose, use the portal to book your second dose.
      • After your first dose appointment is complete, you will receive an email with a link to book your second dose.
      • Use that link to locate the vaccine center location, date and time you want to receive your second dose.
      • Look for vaccine clinics entitled “BOOSTER 2nd DOSE,” as these clinics have been specifically set up to serve people seeking their second dose.
    • Path C: If you did not use the portal to register or schedule your first dose, you can still use the portal to book ONLY a second dose.
      • You should register at vaccinate.oklahoma.gov, paying special attention to the question asking “Will this be your first COVID-19 vaccine dose?” Be sure to answer “no” to this question to indicate you are seeking your second dose.
      • After you answer “no” you will receive a series of questions. The first question will be “Was your first vaccine appointment booked from this portal?” You should answer “no.”
      • You will then be asked, “Please select from the dropdown list below to show your vaccine type - Pfizer or Moderna.” You will need to indicate the type of vaccine you received for your first dose. This can be found on the immunization record card that was given to you at the time you received your first dose.
    • Path D: If you used the portal to register and schedule your first dose, but you haven’t received an email with a link to book your second dose, you can re-register through the portal.
      • Before you re-register, check your spam folder to ensure your email isn’t there. We have received many reports of confirmation emails going to spam folders, so there is a good chance it may have gone to spam.
      • As you re-register through the portal, you will need to use either a new email address, or additional details in your name (for example, spelling out your full, legal middle name). You cannot re-register with identical personal information.
      • You are able to re-register and indicate you are seeking your second dose by following the instructions for “Path C” above.
    • Path E: If all else fails, you can call 211 and they can assist in scheduling your appointment. You will need to provide your name and phone number and tell the call center staff that you need a second dose appointment call back. A staff member from the health department in your county of residence will return your call within 7-10 business days to manually schedule your second dose appointment outside the scheduling portal. We recommend this solution as a last resort because it will take much longer to arrange your appointment this way, and we ask your patience as our county health department staff work to set up your appointment.
       

  • It’s recommended you should get your second dose 21-28 (depending on which vaccine) days after your first dose of the vaccine. However, it can be longer if needed, as the timeline is flexible. You do not need to schedule your second dose appointment on exactly the 21-day or 28-day timeline.

  • If it is not feasible to adhere to the recommended interval and a delay in vaccination is unavoidable, the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines may be administered up to 6 weeks (42 days) after the first dose. There are currently limited data on efficacy of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines administered beyond this window. If the second dose is administered beyond these intervals, there is no need to restart the series.

  • If you used the Vaccine Scheduler Portal to schedule your appointment, the sign up form will contain an option to indicate whether you received the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine for your first dose. This information is then passed on to staff at your PODS location, ensuring you’ll receive the correct vaccine.  

  • Unless otherwise listed in the event title, all county health departments and PODS locations will be supplied with both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.  

Portal Notifications

  • This is likely because you’re not in the current phase group, but you will be notified when the vaccine is available to you.
  • It should be noted that registering early does not guarantee an appointment slot when your phase opens; it simply makes the booking process quicker.

  • Currently, there are only two emails that you should expect from this system. One is a registration confirmation email and the other is a phase confirmation email that contains a link to set up an appointment. 

  • If you’re eligible and have not scheduled an appointment yet, a new email is generated every 4 days with a link and a reminder to schedule an appointment.
  • Please remember that these emails serve as a reminder and that appointment availability is not guaranteed. Appointment availability is dependent on vaccine supply in each county.
     

  • This is not a scam. OSDH is piloting a new text notification system on 1/28/21 to send second dose appointment updates to those who registered for the COVID-19 vaccine through the Vaccine Scheduler Portal.
  • Our most commonly reported issue with the portal is that some people aren’t receiving their confirmation email, or it’s going to spam.
  • The text message is intended to help recipients schedule their second dose who didn’t receive specific instructions from their provider when they received the first dose.
  • The text will say “Please book your second dose of COVID-19 Vaccine by registering and booking an appointment on the www.vaccinate.oklahoma.gov website.”
  • The text will come from a non-Oklahoma area code – a 1-833 number.
  • Please note that there will be two text messages sent. The follow-up text will include a website link to the FAQs that provide more detailed instructions on how a person secures an appointment.

  • About 2,400 people who have already received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in District 8 may receive a text message today, 1/28/21, from OSDH.
  • Counties in this district include: Carter County, Garvin County, Jefferson County, Johnston County, Love County, Marshall County, Murray County, Pontotoc County, Stephens County.
  • District 8 was chosen for this pilot because the area had a significant number of people who had already received their first doses and were available to test this system.
  • If the pilot is successful, OSDH will roll it out in other communities across the state.

  • There will be two text messages sent to you.
  • The first text from OSDH today, 1/28/21, will prompt recipients to either re-register or update their registration in the Vaccine Scheduler Portal to get a new link to schedule their second dose appointment.
  • The follow-up text will include a link to the Vaccine Scheduler Portal FAQs that provide more detailed instructions on how to schedule an appointment.

For the media release specific to the Vaccine Scheduler Portal, visit:

For FAQs regarding scheduling your vaccine appointment, visit:

To view the complete statewide vaccination framework, visit:


VACCINE SAFETY

  • The vaccines that will be available to Oklahomans are safe and effective. The FDA has rigorous scientific and regulatory processes in place that ensure the safety, effectiveness and quality of COVID-19 vaccines. Throughout the entire process, the vaccines were evaluated for their safety and efficacy. Oklahomans should feel confident in receiving the vaccines.
  • Both the Moderna vaccine and the Pfizer vaccine have been shown in late-stage vaccine trials to be safe and very effective - 94.5% and 95% effective, respectively.
  • We encourage all Oklahomans to receive the vaccine when it becomes available to them.

  • The Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine are quite similar, as they both use mRNA technology to produce an immune response against the COVID-19 spike protein.
  • They are both highly effective. This includes in people over the age of 65, as well as adults with underlying health problems that put them at high risk for COVID-19.
  • The Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine are also shown to be very effective in communities of color.
  • Both vaccines have been granted Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA, meaning they are safe, effective and ready for Americans to use.

  • The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been shown in recent tests to have a 72% overall efficacy rate, with 86% efficacy against the most severe forms of COVID-19 in the U.S.
  • While this is a lower efficacy rate than the other two FDA authorized vaccines, this vaccine is still safe to take and will be highly effective at protecting you from COVID-19.
    • In comparison, your annual flu vaccine is typically anywhere from 40-60% effective.
  • The best COVID-19 vaccine is the one you can get right away. All three vaccines will help significantly to reduce your chances of getting seriously ill or dying as a result of COVID-19.
     

  • No, the vaccine went through all the usual FDA-required assessments and regulatory processes.
  • With scientists and manufacturers around the world all focusing on combating COVID-19, parts of the vaccine production and manufacturing process were run concurrently.
  • The FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine is as safe and effective as any other FDA-approved vaccine.

  • mRNA vaccines are a type of vaccine to protect against infectious diseases. mRNA vaccines teach our cells how to make a protein — or even just a piece of a protein — that triggers an immune response inside our bodies. That immune response, which produces antibodies, is what protects us from getting infected if the real virus enters our bodies.
  • COVID-19 mRNA vaccines give instructions for our cells to make a harmless piece of what is called the “spike protein.” The spike protein is found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19. Our immune systems recognize that the protein doesn’t belong there and begin building an immune response and making antibodies, like what happens in natural infection against COVID-19.
  • At the end of the process, our bodies have learned how to protect against future infection.
  • The benefit of mRNA vaccines, like all vaccines, is that those vaccinated gain this protection without having to risk the serious consequences of getting sick with COVID-19.

  • The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is anticipated to receive FDA Emergency Use Authorization as soon as Friday, 2/26.
    • If it receives authorization at that time, we will keep the public informed as we receive updates on how many doses Oklahoma will receive and when.
  • As of right now, AstraZeneca has not asked the FDA to review its COVID-19 vaccine and there are no plans to provide it to Oklahomans.
    • The AstraZeneca vaccine, produced in conjunction with Oxford University, uses a different technology than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Depending on the dose of vaccine received, its effectiveness ranges from 62% to 90%.
    • The AstraZeneca vaccine is re-running some trials, as some participants in trials only received partial doses.
  • We await more information on these vaccines and will continue to work with the CDC on the distribution of FDA-approved vaccines as they become available.

  • Right now, the CDC has no data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in lactating women or the effects of mRNA vaccines on breastfed infants.
  • However, mRNA vaccines are not live virus vaccines and are not thought to be a risk to breastfeeding infants.

  • A new variant of the COVID-19 virus was identified in the U.S. in late December 2020. As of right now, it has been identified in California, Colorado, Florida and New York — not in Oklahoma. But experts predict it will likely spread to other states.
  • New strains of viruses occur when there is a change to the virus’ genes. It is the nature of RNA viruses such as the coronavirus to evolve and change gradually, so this new strain is not unexpected.
  • There will likely be other new strains as the virus continues to evolve.
  • The ‘U.K. strain’ is more transmissible than the strain that has been in the U.S. today, and will likely spread faster.
  • For that reason, it is more important than ever that Oklahomans take precautions to protect themselves and others. Limit your exposure to people outside your own household and follow the three W’s: wear a mask, wash your hands and watch your distance.

  • As of 1/21/21, no significant presence of new variants of the COVID-19 virus have been confirmed by laboratory testing in Oklahoma. However, some initial test results have been identified that might be consistent with one of the new strains.
  • Recently, a small group of samples obtained from Oklahomans were examined for the possibility of mutations, including those associated with the B.1.1.7 variant of COVID-19 (the 'U.K strain'). These samples were specifically identified because of initial test results that could be consistent with the ‘U.K. strain.’
  • This sequencing work was done in a research setting, not fully consistent with the approach advocated by the CDC for tracking the B.1.1.7 or other variants. The results suggest that mutations were present in several of them, including one that matched the profile of the B.1.1.7 strain. Because of the research nature of the work, the results are not definitive.
  • Regardless, state epidemiologists speculate that the ‘U.K. strain’ is likely already present and circulating in Oklahoma, as it has already been detected in other states with local transmission.
  • We’re currently taking steps to track and identify any new strains. Right now, Oklahoma does not have a regular, systematic surveillance process in place for identifying new strains. Doing so requires sequencing of the viral genome, which is an involved process and isn’t routine.
  • We have a communication out to labs to submit any suspicious samples for further investigation, and will begin further surveillance efforts soon given the likelihood that one of the new COVID-19 variants has made, or will eventually make its way, to Oklahoma. We’re grateful to the Oklahoma Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, in conjunction with the OSU Diagnostic lab, for their work in sample acquisition and sequencing.
  • OSDH will continue to monitor for new strains and will keep the public updated on new information as it becomes available.

  • As of right now, there is no evidence to suggest that the COVID-19 vaccines currently in production won’t be effective against new strains of COVID-19 — so it is important to continue our progress through the vaccine distribution plan.
  • Medical professionals advise that we continue to respond to this new strain the same way we have been. Follow the 3 W’s, limit your exposure to others and consider getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

WHEN YOU'LL GET THE VACCINE

Oklahoma’s CDC-approved distribution plan will ensure the vaccine is available to all Oklahomans, regardless of where in the state they live — starting with the healthcare professionals who put their health on the line to keep us safe.
The first doses of the vaccine arrived on December 14th and are being reserved for priority groups, starting with frontline health care professionals who are working day and night to keep Oklahomans safe.

This doesn’t mean the vaccine will be available to everyone right away. There will be a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines in December 2020, but supply will continually increase in the following weeks until all Oklahomans are able to choose whether to receive the vaccine. View our complete vaccine framework for additional details about availability and access.

  • Priority populations for Oklahoma were chosen as a combination of guidelines from the CDC and needs that are specific to our state.
  • The OSDH and public health entities across the state assessed existing data sources for each of the populations identified. State and national datasets helped identify our needs, and informed our decision in determining our most vulnerable populations.  

  • COVID-19 vaccine doses purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be provided to Americans free of charge.

WHAT TO DO ONCE YOU GET THE VACCINE

  • Even once you have the vaccine, it is vital that you continue to take precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19. Everyone should continue to wear a mask, wash their hands and watch their distance. Stopping a pandemic requires all the tools available.
  • We know the vaccine is effective at protecting recipients from COVID-19 — but you may still be able to spread it to others.
    • The vaccine is designed to protect you, but is not a replacement for taking action to protect others.
  • Right now, CDC has not determined if or when it will stop recommending that people wear masks and avoid close contact with others to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.
    • Medical experts still need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide before making that decision.
  • These actions, in conjunction with the vaccine plan, can make a huge difference in keeping our families and communities safe and healthy in the long term.

  • We recommend you receive the vaccine, even if you have already had COVID-19.
  • The protection someone gains from having an infection (called natural immunity) varies depending on the disease, and it varies from person to person. Since this virus is new, we don’t know how long natural immunity might last.
  • The CDC reports that some early evidence suggests that natural immunity may not last very long.
  • Getting the vaccine, even if you already had COVID-19, will help you protect yourself and others.

  • You may still be able to spread COVID-19 to others even after you are vaccinated.
  • Medical experts still need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide.
  • For this reason, we recommend all Oklahomans continue to follow the 3 W’s even once you receive the vaccine.

  • COVID-19 vaccine doses purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be provided to Americans free of charge.

VACCINE DISTRIBUTION & lOGISTICS

OSDH does accept Down Syndrome as a comorbidity and they will be included in Phase 2 of the vaccination plan. We have been communicating with groups representing Down Syndrome that their members can mark "yes" to the question: "Are you an adult of any age with comorbidities?"

We are not adding other intellectual or developmental disabilities at this time. We added Down Syndrome because evidence from the CDC specifically indicates an adult with this condition is at increased risk of severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19. Generally speaking, intellectual or developmental disabilities are not listed by the CDC as conditions that increase risk of severe illness. Link to CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html  

  • The Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires one dose. It also does not have to be kept at the same super-cold temperatures as the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. This opens up a lot of avenues for us in terms of vaccine storage and distribution.
    • Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine can be stored at normal refrigeration temperatures for at least three months, making its distribution considerably easier than the authorized vaccines made by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech, which require two doses and must be stored at frigid temperatures.
  • We’re anticipating the FDA will make a decision as soon as 2/26 on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. We should receive more information once that decision is made about what Oklahoma should expect in terms of doses and when.
  • We will keep you updated as this situation develops, but we’re optimistic that it could increase our supply and help us open more access points to the vaccine.

VACCINE IMPLEMENTATION

  • No. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires one dose to be effective in protecting you against COVID-19.

  • We strongly recommend Oklahomans continue to follow the 3 W’s, even once you have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Stopping a pandemic requires all the tools available.
  • We know the vaccine is effective at protecting recipients from COVID-19 — but you may still be able to spread it to others.
  • Right now, CDC has not determined if or when it will stop recommending that people wear masks and avoid close contact with others to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • Medical experts still need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide before making that decision.  

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)