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Briefing recap: OSDH leaders discuss state’s response, COVID-19 vaccine, mitigation recommendations

Friday, August 13, 2021

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma State Department of Health held a media briefing today, August 13, 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.


  • 50% of Oklahomans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
    • OSDH thanks everyone who has done their part to protect themselves and their families against COVID-19 by getting the vaccine.
    • As of August 13, 3,575,444 total doses have been administered.
      • 1,628,253 Oklahomans have completed the full series; this includes:
      • 41.1% of the total population
      • 51.9% of the adult population
      • 76.4% of the 65+ population
    • 1,979,238 Oklahomans have received at least 1 dose; this includes:
      • 50.0% of the total population
      • 62.3% of the adult population
      • 86.6% of the 65+ population
  • Over the past few weeks, we’ve been seeing a significant increase in COVID-19 cases, due largely to the more contagious Delta variant. OSDH has implemented additional response efforts:
    • Our hospital surge plan that was outlined during previous peaks remains active and in place for guidance. While hospitals set staffing and report on their own capacities, we are working with them as a partner to collaborate and provide support during this surge to ensure all Oklahomans receive quality care.
    • We have developed a set of emergency rules to bolster our response efforts. These are effective and approved by the Governor as of August 12.
    • RMRS, our emergency medical response system, continues to help coordinate our response efforts.
    • We are working alongside long-term care facilities to ensure they have the support they need for nurse aides to remain in their current programs and work without interruption. 86.5% of Oklahomans 65+ are protected with at least one dose of the vaccine, helping keep our most vulnerable population safe.
    • Our data team is updating the dashboard to include additional vaccination numbers and other metrics.
    • Moving forward, we plan to resume regular media briefings.
  • We’re asking Oklahomans to help us by getting the vaccine and/or practicing other mitigation efforts. We need your help to protect against the spread of COVID-19.
    • If you are not vaccinated at this time, you are at significant risk. In the month of August so far, 98% of cases and 93% of hospitalizations have been individuals who are not vaccinated.
    • The tools we have to fight this virus are proven to work best when they are layered together. In addition to the 3 Ws (wear a mask, wash your hands, watch your distance), we’re encouraging Oklahomans to use a checklist when assessing personal health risk and taking precautions against COVID-19: who you are, where you are and what you’re doing.
      • Who are you – What are your personal health circumstances? Do you have other medical considerations?
      • Where are you – Are you indoors or outdoors? Is this a crowded event?
      • What are you doing – Are you with other vaccinated people? Are you doing physical activity?
  • The FDA announced yesterday, August 12, that it would authorize the use of a third dose of Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for those who are immunocompromised. Today, August 13, the CDC ACIP met to recommend and approve a third dose.
    • Most fully vaccinated people will not need a third dose.
    • People eligible for a third dose include those who are currently eligible for the Pfizer (ages 12+) and Moderna (ages 18+) vaccines, who have been diagnosed with conditions that result in moderate to severe levels of immunocompromised.
    • The third dose must be administered more than 28 days after your second dose, and should be from the same vaccine manufacturer as your previous doses.
    • Oklahoma is preparing vaccine supply and appointments to accommodate third doses.
    • Appointments are available now for all vaccines in the state’s vaccine portal.
      • By late afternoon on Monday, August 16, OSDH vaccination sites will be added to the portal to include available appointments specifically for third dose clinics.
      • Local health departments will also have walk-in hours posted on their Facebook pages.
      • You can also access the vaccine at the federal website, by visiting a local pharmacy or personal provider, or by calling 211.


Last Modified on Jun 16, 2022