State Leaders Expected COVID-19 Vaccine Increase; Federal Government Lacks Stockpile

Friday, January 15th 2021, 6:16 pm

TULSA, Okla. -

The Oklahoma State Department of Health said they were expecting a big increase in the number of vaccine doses allocated to the state as Operation Warp Speed previously said they’d no longer stockpile second doses of the vaccine.

State leaders said they discovered Thursday that a national reserve of second doses does not exist.

Oklahoma health leaders said the federal government indicated that for every dose our state received, there was a second dose in a national stockpile. Deputy Health Commissioner Keith Reed said they believed this to mean the state would be getting a big increase in the number of vaccine doses.

"Unfortunately, I learned yesterday that particular system was not how it had been presented to us, and we've learned that's what had been presented to other states," Reed said.

Reed said finding out the federal government does not have a stockpile of the vaccine was like the rug was pulled out from under them.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health is now trying to figure out what this means for Oklahomans getting the vaccine. Reed said the state will not receive the prime and booster doses separately.

The state health department will have to divide the shipments in two, to make sure Oklahomans get both the first and second shot they need.

"So, while we're very frustrated the way this was communicated, the impression we were given and had been given in the past few weeks it's just another example of why we have to remain so nimble and agile in this vaccination effort," Reed said.

Health leaders in Oklahoma have administered more than 203,000 doses of vaccine so far. The state ranks 8th in the U.S. for the number of vaccines administered for every 100,000 people.