Tulsa County could be administering the first COVID-19 vaccines in about a week.
The Tulsa Health Department provided an update Wednesday afternoon and said it plans to start giving the COVID-19 vaccine on December 17, which is a week from tomorrow. The exact timing all depends on when the FDA approves the Pfizer vaccine and it gets shipped nationwide.
On Wednesday, Ellen Niemitalo, the Clinical Services Manager for THD, provided an update along with other health officials.
Niemitalo said it appears right now, the vaccine will be shipped on December 15, arrive here in Tulsa on December 16 and then be ready to be administered the day after. This is a few days after the state health department originally anticipated the vaccine in the state.
Niemitalo said it is important to remember these first shots will only be given to frontline healthcare workers who are treating COVID-19 patients and the department will follow the state's prioritization plan.
Those eligible for the first vaccines will be contacted by their healthcare facilities and then be sent to an undisclosed location where the vaccine will be given.
"The other little bit of unique thing with this vaccine is after it's been administered, those individuals are going to have to remain for a 15 to 30 minute observation period so that has to be built into the plan, again wanting to maintain the distancing during this entire process," said Niemitalo.
Niemitalo said she encourages people to talk to their doctors about getting the vaccine when it's available for you.