As hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans are trying to get a COVID vaccine, many are having issues trying to schedule their second dose.
Some Oklahomans say trying to use the online system has been a nightmare. The Oklahoma State Department of Health says it is not required to use its online portal to do so. The OSDH says you can schedule appointments for the second dose directly with providers. Nancy Chrisenbery says she had to drive two hours from Broken Arrow to Poteau to receive her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Now, she's having issues trying to schedule her second dose on the state's website.
"I keep hitting dead ends, and no-one seems to be able to answer my questions," Chrisenbery said.
Chrisenbery says she called 211, which includes a team from the state department of health. She tells me they suggested trying to register with another email address, which also didn't work for her.
"It's frustrating, it's irritating, I'm not losing sleep over it, but I figured that it will eventually work itself out," Chrisenbery said.
OSDH Deputy Commissioner Keith Reed says you don't have to use the portal if you're having issues. He says you can reach out to the clinical provider directly.
"Ideally, they will receive their second dose in the same location they received the first," Reed said.
Reed says this is for logistical reasons because the OSDH has to allocate vaccines across the state. If Oklahomans get their first and second shot at the same place, the state can ensure each location has enough prime and booster doses.
"So from a logistical standpoint, yes we prefer people do that. Is it absolutely required to do that? No, it is not absolutely required for them to do that," Reed said.
Reed says if someone has specific technical issues, you can give your info to 211. He says they will help coordinate with local providers for you.
"As we continue to move forward with vaccination efforts (and as vaccine supply increases) there will be more providers and opportunities to get second doses scheduled through additional providers. Also, as a reminder, the timeline to get the second dose is flexible - it doesn’t have to be exactly on the 21st or 28th day," Reed said.