Tulsa Health Department officials said Monday they’re keeping up with a request by the state to use COVID-19 vaccine allocations within seven days, but supply constraints continue to restrict efforts.
THD Executive Director Dr. Bruce Dart said they're managing supplies conservatively as a result.
"Until we know that the feds have enough vaccine to distribute to cover all first doses with a second dose, we’re trying to strategically look at this to ensure everyone who walks in for our [point of distribution site] can be assured of that second dose because we’ve had so many people that are so concerned — are they going to be fully vaccinated or not?" Dart said.
THD expects almost 7,700 doses of vaccine from the state will arrive Tuesday for use this week. Emergency Preparedness and Response Manager Alicia Etgen said there are 20 partner providers signed up with THD, but only four will get any vaccines this week.
"We have been able to spread some vaccine out to those individuals to the tune of 200 to 300 doses at a time. We have not been able to saturate the primary care physicians there. We get calls every single day of them asking for vaccine, but we’re just not receiving it in the amounts large enough to be able to send it out," Etgen said.
Out of Tulsa County’s vaccine allocation this week, 5,480 doses will go toward appointments. The rest are being reserved for strike teams that will vaccinate teachers 65 and older and nursing home residents. The Oklahoman reported the state health department recently decided to hold back doses earmarked for CVS and Walgreens’ nursing home vaccination programs this week, citing slow rollouts.