Calling it the responsibility of Oklahomans to protect their communities from COVID-19, Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) on Monday urged those not yet vaccinated to do so now.
"From smallpox to polio to tetanus, vaccines, coupled with citizens undertaking the responsibility to defeat the viruses, have ended pandemics of the past and continue to keep our communities safe and healthy," Lucas wrote in an op-ed in Monday's Tulsa World titled "I'm vaccinated against COVID-19, and you should be, too... as soon as possible."
"We’ve come a long way since the height of the pandemic, but unfortunately, cases are dramatically increasing again in Oklahoma and across the country due to the COVID-19 delta variant and lack of vaccine participation," Lucas wrote. "We have a tool. We have a vaccine that can defeat this virus, and I appeal to every Oklahoman and American to join in our war-like effort to bring an end to this pandemic once and for all."
According to the CDC, Oklahoma has one of the lowest vaccine uptake rates in the nation, ranking 41st as of Friday by percentage of the state fully vaccinated.
Asked Friday if he had a plan to improve the state's bottom-ten status for vaccinations, Gov. Kevin Stitt did not offer one, saying only that getting vaccinated is a personal decision to be made between Oklahomans and their health care providers, and that he disputed the characterization of Oklahoma as a bottom-ten state for vaccinations despite its being ranked 41st.