Stitt Gets COVID-19 Vaccine, Says He Waited Until It Was Available To All Oklahomans
With COVID-19 vaccinations now available to all Oklahomans 16 and older, Gov. Kevin Stitt took his turn.
Stitt received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine from a state health department nurse Marcia Castellanos-Aymat in front of reporters Monday afternoon at the capitol after a news conference.
Polling has identified Republican men as the group least likely to get vaccinated. Stitt, who had COVID-19 in July, said he waited until more vulnerable Oklahomans were able to get vaccinated.
"This is a personal responsibility. That’s what we believe, but I think by me being here as the governor of a state like Oklahoma, hopefully I can encourage others to follow my lead," Stitt said.
Stitt reiterated state officials will not be making a vaccine mandatory for anyone.
Deputy State Health Commissioner Keith Reed said even those who have recently had COVID-19 should get vaccinated and should do so as soon as they no longer need to self-isolate.
"It is no longer our recommendation that you wait 90 days after infection, as that recommendation was related to limited vaccine availability," Reed said.
Only the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is approved for those 16 and older. There is still no approved vaccine for kids under 16. Reed said the state is closely monitoring trials and can quickly expand operations when a vaccine is approved for younger kids.
"The health department does back-to-school vaccinations all the time. So, we’re adept at setting up vaccination programs for school-age children," Reed said.
Oklahoma’s COVID trends are down to levels last seen in early summer, but state and federal health officials urge people to continue wearing masks and taking other precautions as cases increase in some areas.