More Oklahomans are getting the COVID-19 vaccine. The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Department of Health hosted a drive-thru event Saturday to help speed up the distribution process.
Larry Luellen has seen a lot in 74 years. He said this weekend’s vaccine distribution process impressed him.
"God bless them,” Luellen said. “Some of the bravest people I've seen in a while because not very many people volunteer to do something like this. I think they deserve a big round of applause from everybody that's concerned."
Luellen is one of 300 who made an appointment through the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Department of Health's vaccine information line.
"This here is very efficient. I think they know what they're doing here,” Luellen said. “What's good about it: Everybody's so friendly. That helps."
The department has administered more than 5,000 Pfizer and Moderna first dose vaccines so far. The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Department of Health will begin giving out the second doses on Monday. They're currently in Tier 1 of 3 which includes healthcare workers and patients 65 and older.
“I was ready, I tell you what. A lot of my family's already got it," Luellen said. "I was ready to get it cause this thing's dangerous, and I think everybody needs to take precautions when they can."
Channel 6 was told the shot might sting, and cause your arm to be a little sore, but the overall process people said, is painless. All you've got to do is wait in line, pull up through the tent, get vaccinated, not even leaving the comfort of your own car, and then park for 15 minutes to ensure no adverse reactions.
"We take the paperwork to them. They complete the paperwork,” Okmulgee Indian Health Center health administrator Kara Lee said. "The purpose of this is to get as many vaccines in arms as we can."
Clinic representatives said they began the drive-thru process on Jan. 4.
"I'll tell you just exactly how long I've been here,” Luellen said. “I've been here eight minutes. That's from the time I pulled in line until talking to you now."
Lee said they've given out more than 32,000 COVID-19 tests so far. She told us the positivity rate during November and December was about 30 to 35 percent. The positivity rate these past few weeks, she said, has dropped to about 15 percent. Lee said they've filtered through hundreds of hotline voicemails and are placing people on a contact list accordingly. She said no vaccine doses will be wasted. Lee told News On 6 the vaccines are stored in an ultra-cold freezer and are drawn in the hospital. She said each vile of the Pfizer gives five vaccines.
"Whenever we open up one, if we have a no-show, we have to pull somebody in,” said Lee. “We have to start calling, and we keep a short call list.”
The clinic kept track of when each person was vaccinated and gave those individuals a date and time for their second dose.
"The team has volunteered. They live for this. They've stepped up,” said Lee. “Our team that stays within the clinic—they're picking up the slack when we're out here vaccinating."
Luellen said your time will come too, and you better be ready when it does.
"If nothing else, you don't care that much about yourself, you ought to care about other people. Help them keep from getting it,” Luellen said.
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