OSDH: Oklahoma Has Received More Than 135,000 COVID-19 Vaccine Doses

Wednesday, December 23rd 2020, 3:19 pm

Tens of thousands of doses of the two COVID-19 vaccines arrive in Oklahoma.

The State Department of Health said it's gotten more than 135,000 total doses so far. The shipments of the Moderna vaccine went to more than two dozen places in the state.

State leaders said the Moderna vaccine is easier to store and move, which means they can get it to county health departments across Oklahoma, especially rural areas.

The arrival of the Moderna vaccine in the state this week means tens of thousands of Oklahomans will soon get their first shots.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health says an increase in supply gets more help to priority groups.

And since the Moderna vaccine doesn't need ultra-cold storage, their outreach can be wider.

"So, the Moderna just offers a whole lot more options for that, it gives us much greater flexibility," OSDH Deputy Commissioner Keith Reed said.

The OSDH says they're expecting about 175,000 total doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines by the end of this month.

They say they got more than 66,200 doses of the Moderna vaccine this week. The state also got more than 23,400 Pfizer vaccine doses this week.

Some of those went to the partner program with CVS and Walgreens, which are helping administer the vaccines at nursing homes in the state.

State leaders say it'll be a combination of vaccine sites and strike teams that go to centers like this.

"We recognize that this can't be the kind of passive process where everything comes to us, but we also need to be clear that we can't go to everybody either," Reed said.

He says the supply in the state points to them likely beginning phase 2 of distribution as early as next week.

"We don't want to sit on vaccine, we want it moving into people's arms as quickly as possible. It's not easy by any stretch, it requires a lot of partners coming to the table, it requires a heavy lift on the logistics side to get vaccine to them," Reed said.

The OSDH says when they move onto the next phase, it doesn't mean they'll stop vaccinating people in the previous phases. Each phase will just be brought into the fold.