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The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) announced on Thursday, December 3, 2020, the first doses of COVID-19 vaccine are set to arrive in the state next week.
Oklahoma is expected to initially receive 33,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine with more to come from Moderna.
This is setting the stage for distribution if the vaccines get Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration.
“While we are optimistic about the arrival of a COVID-19 vaccine, we want to remind everyone that the first doses are reserved for our most at-risk populations that will be on the front lines working to fight this virus,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Lance Frye.
“As we work to distribute the vaccine to high-priority populations as outlined in the state’s distribution plan, the best way Oklahomans can help slow the spread of COVID-19 is by continuing to follow the three W’s: wear a mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance.”
The first rounds of the vaccine will be given in priority groups. Health care workers, long-term care facility staff and residents and public health staff will be the first offered the vaccinations.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health believes the general public will have access sometime in Spring 2021.
The Health Department submitted its distribution plan to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and has won approval.
Initial sites receiving the vaccines have already been determined because they have the storage capabilities necessary.
“Our vaccine distribution plan has to be very fluid, as there are many unknowns in what lies ahead,” said Keith Reed, Deputy Commissioner for the State Department of Health.
“Our goal, at the state and local level, is to remain flexible in the coming weeks as we usher in the first doses of the vaccine and work to distribute it to our most vulnerable populations.”