The Oklahoma State Department of Health is distributing the second round of N95 masks to pharmacies across the state on Monday. OSDH officials say they are giving out 500,000 masks to Oklahoma pharmacies between two shipments.
The masks come as part of President Biden’s program to make 400 million N95 masks available for distribution across the country.
You can pick up a maximum of three masks per person for free at any participating pharmacy location including CVS, Walgreens, Walmart and others.
The first round of masks was sent out by OSDH last Thursday with the remainder of the shipment going out on Monday. The shipment completes the 500,000 distribution goal.
OSDH Director of Emergency Response Michael DeRemer says this is an important initiative because cloth masks have proven to not be as protective.
“With the highly transmissible omicron variant, we know the quality of the mask someone chooses to wear matters,” DeRamer said.
The CDC recently announced the N95 masks are much more effective than a cloth mask and by far the best way to stay protected. OSDH Chief Medical Officer Dr. Gitanjali Pai said the masks will make a big difference to those who choose to wear one.
“A properly fitted and certified N95 can filter up to 95% of particles in the air and that is why they’re considered a gold standard at the moment,” Pai said.
Participating pharmacies are expected to have signage showing whether or not they have these free masks available in their store