Tulsa Health Department Says It Can't Keep Up With Vaccine Demand

Monday, January 25th 2021, 4:49 pm


The Tulsa Health Department says it is expecting to get about 7,600 doses of COVID-19 vaccines this week but like other areas of the country, there is more demand than supply.

Tulsa County is underperforming Oklahoma County in administering more COVID-19 vaccines.

The state health department is encouraging local jurisdictions to get vaccine doses from the freezer into people's arms as fast as possible, and they say the state's two largest counties have taken different approaches so far.

Deputy Commissioner of Health Keith Reed said Oklahoma County has been given 81,275 doses. Of that, 76,174 have been administered, or about 94 percent.

Tulsa County on the other hand has been given 83,475 doses and administered 51,254 - or about 61 percent.

Reed said some Tulsans are also having to drive to other communities to get vaccinated. Last Tuesday, he said nearly half the recipients at a vaccine pod in McAlester were residents of Tulsa County.

Reed said they want local health departments to administer doses quickly, saying the state will make sure everyone gets a second dose.

"Oklahoma County is really pushing to get that vaccine into Oklahomans, they have a really high burn rate is what we call it,” said Reed. “Tulsa's approach is a little different, a little more conservative."

The Tulsa Health Department said their goal is to get everyone fully vaccinated and without knowledge of national allotments, they're planning differently.

"We're trying to strategically look at this to ensure that everyone who walks in for a pod, can be assured of that second dose," said Dr. Bruce Dart, with THD.

The Tulsa Health Department said they are getting about 7,600 new doses of vaccines this week.