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State Moves To Vaccination Phase 3, Making Essential Workers, College Students And More Eligible

Mike Simons
Tulsa World pool photo

Many more Oklahomans can get COVID-19 vaccines starting Tuesday as the state opens eligibility to people in phase three.

Phase three includes college students; teachers at universities, technical schools and daycares; and people deemed essential workers under an executive order by Gov. Kevin Stitt.

"This is big. This is a big step. When we look at the different phases, this means that we are bringing on the vast majority of Oklahomans. So, at this point, the vast majority of Oklahomans are eligible to get vaccinated," said Deputy State Health Commissioner Keith Reed.

Officials said increasing vaccine supplies and the number of open appointments led them to open up slots to the next priority group.

Appointments will be available through the vaccinate.oklahoma.gov portal, as well as through partner providers like pharmacies, which schedule their own appointments. The state portal will be offline briefly Monday night as a Spanish version is launched as part of an update.

Phase three is another nearly 2.5 million Oklahomans in all, and Reed has set his sights high for continued progress.

"It’s hard to project where we will be. I would like to see us get 3 million doses in by Memorial Day, if we look at the numbers, at the rate we’re going right now. But those numbers are going to vary depending on the availability and the supply coming in," Reed said.

As of Monday afternoon, more than 1.3 million doses of vaccine had been given in Oklahoma between state and federal sources.

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