Oklahoma Teachers Start Receiving COVID-19 Vaccine As Rollout Expands

Monday, February 22nd 2021, 6:19 pm

TULSA, Okla. -

Hundreds of teachers across Oklahoma are getting their COVID-19 shot Monday as the rollout expands.

More than one million Oklahomans now qualify for a vaccine as the state moves to another level of Phase 2, including teachers.

As teachers in some districts get their vaccines today, many others in Tulsa are still waiting to find out when they'll get theirs. The state department of health said they're taking a very localized approach.

Hundreds of educators, including teachers at an IMMY Lab Pod today in Norman, are getting their first COVID-19 shot Monday.

The state said there are more than 85,000 teachers and staff across Oklahoma who need the vaccine.

"I am so grateful that teachers and staff have been prioritized to begin receiving this vaccine, and I encourage all Oklahomans to take that vaccine as soon as they are offered this," State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister said.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health said they expect to use at least 60,000 vaccines for educators who want it.

They said they have enough doses to vaccinate all of Oklahoma's teachers over the next few weeks.

Broken Arrow Schools said students will be in distance learning this Thursday and Friday so any teacher who wants the vaccine can get it. They said all 150 employees who are either 65 and older or health staff have already received their second dose of the shot.

Bartlesville Schools students were in distance learning Monday so more than 300 staff members could be vaccinated. They will resume in-person classes tomorrow.

Oklahoma Deputy Health Commissioner Keith Reed said they've asked each health department to work closely with the schools.

"We've really taken a very localized approach to that, to ensure each teacher gets the opportunity to get vaccinated, and it's not just about overall competition in which case they may get left out," Reed said.

TPS Superintendent Deborah Gist sent employees an email Sunday night saying their vaccine distribution is managed by the Tulsa Health Department.

TPS announced that they will begin vaccinating teachers starting Wednesday, Feb. 24.

The Tulsa Health Department issued the following statement:

"The Tulsa Health Department has partnered with Saint Francis Health System, Passport Health and Total Wellness to safely and efficiently vaccinate the estimated 15,483 teachers and staff in pre-K-12 schools in Tulsa County with appointment availability beginning Wednesday, February 24th. Information regarding how teachers and staff can schedule an appointment has been provided to each school superintendent within Tulsa County."