OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — More than 1 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered in Oklahoma, state health officials announced on Friday.
Deputy Health Commissioner Keith Reed said the milestone was reached after data was obtained from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on federal doses administered through the Indian Health Service and U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs. Those numbers previously were not included in the state’s vaccination count.
“We have previously discussed that we believed our total count would be underrepresented as a result of the different reporting systems for state and federal vaccine data,” Reed said in a statement.
In a Friday tweet that remained online through the weekend and into Monday, Gov. Kevin Stitt wrongly claimed that nearly 1 million individuals in Oklahoma had received at least one dose of the vaccine. At the time the tweet was posted, that number was just over 630,000 Oklahomans. The governor's account later tweeted a correction to reflect the actual data.
In a Saturday news release, OSDH Commissioner Lance Frye said the federal approval for an emergency use authorization of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was good news for Oklahoma.
"We are excited about this vaccine’s high level of efficacy and accessibility, as it only requires one dose to be effective and doesn’t need to be stored at ultra-cold temperatures," Frye said. "This means that we can continue to reach our most at-risk individuals across the state, while also minimizing some barriers to completing the vaccine series."
"Any new vaccine allotment provides us with more options to distribute the vaccine and open up new access points across the state. This is great news both for Oklahoma’s vaccine plan and for our nation’s ongoing fight against COVID-19.
"Now that the vaccine has been authorized for emergency use, we’re looking forward to updates from the manufacturer and federal government on how many doses we will receive and when. We will share this information as it becomes available," the statement concluded.