After a historic winter storm that caused cancelations for many vaccine sites across Oklahoma, the state’s vaccination efforts are ready to ramp back up.
Prior to this week, the state had back-to-back weeks where it administered over 120,000 vaccines.
Those efforts quickly cooled off, winter weather forcing thousands of appointment postponements statewide.
“In the very very short term, yes it's impacted our ability to get the vaccine out,” said Keith Reed, Oklahoma State Department of Health. “So no doubt about that, if you look at our numbers of this past week we have not been able to burn through the vaccine like we want to.”
But today at the Expo Center, thousands received their first or second doses.
The Tulsa Health Department says that over half of the county’s residents over 65 have already received their first shot.
“I don't think it’s really going to impact our timeline, we’re hoping it doesn’t but I think we have to remain flexible in case that does happen,” said THD’s Dr. Bruce Dart. “If it does we’ll do, as I said before, whatever it takes to rearrange our schedules to make sure that everyone gets the vaccine.”
Reed says over 100,000 doses that were scheduled to be delivered during the worst of the weather will arrive over the weekend and once they get here, the state will be ready to get them out.
“We have great capacity that we haven’t necessarily tapped into in the state because we haven’t had enough vaccine to do that,” said Reed. “So we know that we have options that we can turn on to get more vaccine out quickly. So I feel like we’ll be able to make up for lost time pretty easily.”
Health officials say that the cancelations from this week, won't hamper the availability of appointments for more people in the future.
Starting Monday, those 18 and older with comorbidities and teachers will be eligible to get the vaccine.