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Bynum Gets First Vaccine Dose, Encourages Tulsans To Follow Suit

Mayor G.T. Bynum
Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum displays his COVID-19 vaccination card after receiving his first dose at the Tulsa County Fairgrounds.

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum celebrated receiving his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Tulsa County Fairgrounds Friday morning by quoting a notable historical figure in a statement.  

"'If you wanna keep an eye on me don’t look behind you, don’t look to the sides, look straight up, because I’m right on top of ya - Oh yeeeeeaaah!' -Randy 'Macho Man' Savage, OR my immune system to COVID-19 after getting vaccinated this morning!" Bynum wrote on Facebook.  

In a video released by City Hall after the mayor's vaccination, Bynum said he was notified by the state health department's vaccination portal on Sunday that he now qualified for the vaccine, and signed up for the first available slot he found.  

"I think it's so important for any of us who have the opportunity to get this vaccine to get it at the earliest opportunity, because once we get fully vaccinated, it reduces our ability to give it to other people," Bynum said.  

"And I think about how awful the last year has been for our community, for our state and for our country, and I want to stamp this virus into the ground, and the best way for each of us to do that is to get this vaccine so that we can defeat this virus and get back to the life that we want to be living as a city," Bynum said, praising the rapid development of the vaccines as "our landing on the moon."  

Senior officials in city, state and county governments became eligible to receive the vaccine under the state's priority framework on Monday, and health officials have called on them to do so to set an example for their constituents.  

As of Friday morning, leaders around Oklahoma who had received at least one dose of vaccine included Tulsa County Commissioners Karen Keith and Ron Peters, Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Deborah Gist, Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., Norman Mayor Breea Clark, Stillwater Mayor Will Joyce and State Health Commissioner Dr. Lance Frye.  

The office of Mayor Craig Thurmond of Broken Arrow did not respond to a request for comment about whether he had been vaccinated or intended to be.  On Monday, a spokesperson for Gov. Kevin Stitt said he had not received the vaccine yet and they could not comment on when he may do so because "I’m not his doctor (obviously) so I have no information on upcoming medical appointments." The governor's office did say Stitt planned to be vaccinated, though likely not at a press event.

Chris joined Public Radio Tulsa as a news anchor and reporter in April 2020. He’s a graduate of Hunter College and the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, both at the City University of New York.
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