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Health officials still urge vaccination as Oklahoma's COVID trends go in the right direction

Oklahoma State Department of Health

State health officials say COVID trends are encouraging, but more Oklahomans need to be vaccinated against the illness.

The current seven-day average is 1,299, down more than half from a late-August peak. Hospitalizations have also fallen by about half in that time. State Epidemiologist Jolianne Stone said even better figures are within reach.

"In the spring, we saw less than 500 a day for multiple weeks before we saw that Delta surge that happened this summer. So, we're hoping to get down to those same numbers. Increases in vaccination rates are really going to help drive those numbers down and hopefully continue to keep those numbers down as we head into the holidays," Stone said.

While vaccinations picked up briefly during the Delta variant–driven surge in infections, most Oklahomans remain unvaccinated.

"We're really wanting to get at least 70% of the state fully vaccinated. Ideally, we would be beyond that, we would have more than that to really ensure that we have good protection against a resurgence of COVID," said Deputy State Health Commissioner Keith Reed.

Less than 49% of the state’s total population is fully vaccinated. The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have yet to approve a COVID vaccine for children under 12.

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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