THD And FEMA Community Vaccination Center So Far Giving COVID Shots At 'Very, Very' Low Rate

Apr 27, 2021

Credit Mike Simons / Pool photo

The Tulsa Health Department’s COVID-19 Community Vaccination Center is off to a slow start.

The clinic opened last Wednesday at Tulsa Community College’s Northeast Campus in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. THD Executive Director Dr. Bruce Dart said Tuesday vaccinations are being given at a "very, very low" rate, falling far below the clinic's 3,000 shots per day capacity.

Dart hopes a team of federal personnel that arrived Sunday and just finished orientation can help turn that around.

"And now they’re starting to actually go through neighborhoods — whether it be apartment complexes and community neighborhoods themselves and knock on doors — and let people know. They’re leaving information so that hopefully everybody that lives within these socially vulnerable areas at least having awareness that this clinic exists," Dart said.

The clinic is supposed to run for eight weeks. Its location was chosen based on vulnerability indicators like household income, transportation access and racial demographics.

"For me, it makes no sense to continue deploying resources when people aren’t showing up or resources aren’t needed. So, that’s another thing we’ll have to pivot on. If the CVC, or the community vaccination center, is meeting the need, then I think it’s great. But if it’s not, then we’ll have to have that conversation about what to do next," Dart said.

The clinic is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday at 3727 E Apache St. Appointments are encouraged but not required.