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State Officials Say Phase 2 of COVID Vaccination Plan Could Start Next Week

CVS Health

Oklahomans in phase two of the state’s COVID vaccination plan may start getting their shots before the end of the year.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Lance Frye said with two vaccines being shipped now, estimates for how many doses Oklahoma will receive are up, and the state has entered a new stage of fighting the pandemic.

"We feel like we’re going to be able to start into phase two of our distribution — through certain parts of the state — as early as next week. We anticipate receiving and distributing a total of 174,900 vaccine doses before the end of this year," Frye said.

Officials say 21,000 health care workers and paramedics in the top priority group got their first dose of vaccines last week. Nursing home staff and residents started getting their COVID vaccinations on Tuesday. There are almost 158,000 people in phase one of the state’s plan.

Deputy State Health Commissioner Keith Reed said they will not be vaccinating all phase one individuals before moving on to those in phase two.

"We have overlap, and we need to do that for efficiency’s sake. If we were to wait until we completely finish one group before we started another, then that just delays getting vaccines into Oklahomans," Reed said.

With pre-K through 12th grade teachers now in phase two, it includes more than 800,000 people, the largest group being adults 65 or older or with health conditions that put them at serious risk of death from COVID-19.

Phase two also includes staff and residents in settings like prisons and shelters.

A potential start for 2.4 million people in phase three has not been announced.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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