Friday, March 26, 2021

COVID Vaccine to Become Available for All Oklahomans

Starting Monday, March 29, all Oklahoma residents will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, the Oklahoma State Department of Health announced Tuesday.

For those wanting to schedule their vaccine, please note that the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are approved for use with individuals 18 and older, and the Pfizer vaccine is approved for those 16 and older, according to the Federal Drug Administration.

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With thousands of Oklahomans continuing to be vaccinated against COVID-19, state health leaders say they are preparing to move on to the next and last phase of Oklahoma’s vaccination plan.

So far, the OSDH says, nearly 1.7 million Oklahomans have received at least one dose of the vaccine. In all, about 71 percent of Oklahomans over age 65 have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Keith Reed, Oklahoma’s deputy commissioner of health, says hospitalizations are steadily declining as the vaccine supply grows, a key factor in Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt’s decision last week to ease restrictions put in place in 2020 to try and keep the coronavirus pandemic under control.

Stitt’s move allowed hair salons, bars, restaurants and similar establishments to reopen despite concerns that the virus is still out there.

Stitt said the sacrifices made by Oklahomans – closing businesses and missing out on important life events like weddings and proms – have “flattened the curve.”

The governor warned that the virus hasn’t magically gone away simply because the state’s infections are trending in the right direction and hospital capacity is good.

“We still have coronavirus in the United States, it’s still in the state of Oklahoma, we’re still going to have people get this, we’re still going to have positive cases, but our rate of positive cases continues to decline,” Stitt said.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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