Saint Francis in Muskogee has been tasked with getting vaccines to Oklahomans in the eastern more rural part of the state and have already received nearly 2,000 doses so far.
Deputy Commissioner of Health Keith Reed said partnering with hospitals has been vital in getting the vaccines to Oklahomans. He explains Saint Francis Tulsa is one of the 5 "hub" distribution points in the state. From Tulsa, the vaccine goes to "spoke" locations, including Saint Francis Muskogee.
"Specifically, for Muskogee that is a part of the Saint Francis systems and I know that they have plans in place to use them and have a 'hub and spoke' model to be able to give vaccines to those priority health care groups in that particular system," Reed said.
Saint Francis Muskogee received 1,950 doses of the Pfizer vaccine as part of the state's first allotment from Operation Warp Speed. For the Jack C. Montgomery VA Center, spokesperson Nita McClellan said they have not received the vaccines from the federal government.
McClellan added that "front-line health care workers would get priority for vaccinations. The timeline depends on when the vaccination becomes available."
Reed said they are working hard to make the vaccine available to more Oklahomans.
"I anticipate as we move through this, we're going to gain momentum moving forward," said Reed.
The Oklahoma Health Department leaders said the vaccine distribution has gone very smoothly so far, with no additional challenges appearing in the rural areas as compared to the urban centers. Leaders also said they plan on giving an update on how many people having been vaccinated on Friday.