OSDH: Almost 1 Million Oklahomans Vaccinated Against COVID-19

Thursday, February 25th 2021, 5:17 pm

TULSA, Okla. -

The State Health Department said Oklahoma is getting close to vaccinating a million people in the state.

Deputy Commissioner of Health Keith Reed said they now have numbers from the CDC, which tracks both federal and state allotments, including tribes. He said more than 930,000 Oklahomans have received at least one shot.

"We are approaching one million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered in Oklahoma,” said Reed. “This is an extraordinary milestone for our state. Shows great progress in vaccinating all of our eligible citizens."

More than 50 percent of Oklahomans 65 and older have been vaccinated.

The state will also now have the capability to sequence the COVID-19 vaccine. The state received approval from the FDA. It will start sequencing positive specimens at its lab in Stillwater in less than two weeks.

The approval means the state can test for variants of the virus and different strains, like the one found in the U.K. and in South Africa.

"Quite simply sequencing viral genomes is crucial to our understanding of a disease and our ability to respond appropriately to it,” said Jared Taylor, State Epidemiologist. “To be nimble and prepared to adjust."

Employees at the lab are getting trained now on the process.