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Oklahoma Health Officials Expect COVID Vaccine Increase For Next 3 Weeks

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Oklahoma is getting a bit more COVID-19 vaccine to go around.

Deputy State Health Commissioner Keith Reed said Wednesday federal officials told them next week’s shipment of 103,350 doses represents a 16% increase, mostly from additional doses of the Moderna vaccine.

"Additionally, we’ve been told that this number should be consistent over the next three weeks. That’s a new change coming from what was previously called Operation Warp Speed, now it’s called The Operation — that is some information they have provided us to help in our planning as we look forward," Reed said.

The information helps the health department begin to plan whether it can start giving doses to more vaccine providers, like pharmacies.

"We need to know this information in order to be smart about what resources we bring to bear on this, because it doesn’t do us much good to give vaccine to partners and then see a decrease in the following weeks when we can’t continue to support them," Reed said.

Reed said much of next week’s increased supply will go toward second doses. States learned at the tail end of the Trump administration there were no second shots in reserve as they’d been led to believe, suddenly forcing them to allocate first and second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines on their own.

As of midday Wednesday, the state was approaching 351,000 people who had received a vaccination, with more than 50,000 completing a two-dose series.

The state will not start vaccinating additional priority groups until more Oklahomans age 65 or older have been vaccinated. Almost 30% have now received an initial dose. Adults with underlying health conditions are next on the priority list.

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