Oklahoma came up Friday in the Biden administration’s second coronavirus briefing.
"I want to call out seven states that have already provided first vaccinations to more than 10% of their adult populations: Alaska, West Virginia, New Mexico, Connecticut, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota. Well done," said White House Senior Advisor for COVID Response Andy Slavitt.
According to the latest state data, more than 315,000 eligible adults have received first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, while more than 58,000 have completed a two-dose series. The state is currently vaccinating health care workers, first responders, and adults 65 or older. The Biden administration aims to speed up vaccination rates across the country and told Oklahoma this week it will get 16% more doses in vaccine shipments the next three weeks.
President Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said vaccinating people quickly is crucial to stopping new, more infectious variants of the coronavirus from taking hold.
"The fundamental principle of getting people vaccinated as quickly and as efficiently as you possibly can will always be the best way to prevent the further evolution of any mutant because when you do that, you prevent replication, and replication is essential for a mutation," Fauci said.
As of Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had officially recognized a coronavirus variant originating from the United Kingdom in 28 states, including Texas, but not yet in Oklahoma. State health officials strongly suspect the variant is here after a research lab detected genetic markers of it last week.