The Muskogee Health Department is ramping up its COVID-19 vaccine distribution, with over 1,200 people getting their second doses.
The department in Muskogee is in charge of vaccinating Oklahomans across at least eight counties and now, their building is newly restored. Kristen Carollo, spokesperson for District 7 of the State Health department said the improvements were in the works before COVID-19, but the facility now works perfectly for giving the vaccines.
"It's actually a blessing to have this completed. This part of our building which is the west entrance it's actually been undergoing renovation during most of this time, and we haven't been able to use that," Carollo said.
Patients walk in through sliding glass doors on the West entrance. They fill out their paperwork and then head to this newly restored vaccination room. The person receives their shot then can go to a separate room where they are monitored. Ana Montoya received her second dose on Wednesday.
"I feel happy that I went ahead and did it," Montoya said.
Carollo said people are coming from as far as Tulsa. Despite the large turnout, most patients have had little to no wait time.
"We're really proud of that and our team is working really hard to make sure that everyone does receive their second dose," Carollo said.
Carollo explains clerks are working late hours and even on the weekends to make calls and set up appointments.
"We’re going to give you a call and we’re going to call to set up that appointment and we’re going to call you multiple times until we get an issue," Carollo said.
Nurse Kelly Hokit said the response has been positive overall.
"I've had several that have just been very tearful that their lives are about to reach a point of normalcy again with this vaccine,” Hokit said.
Carollo said she knows online booking has been frustrating for many. They just want to ask for patience.
"Hopefully at some point in time will start receiving more vaccine and that will open up the options of people going to vaccine providers as well. So just be patient with us," Carollo said.
The Muskogee County Health Department said by next week they would have given out over 6,000 doses.