White House Sending $1.7M To Oklahoma Rural Health Clinics To Help Boost COVID Vaccination Rates

Jul 22, 2021

Credit Mike Simons / Tulsa World pool photo

Updated July 23, 2:20 p.m. with information about funding for Oklahoma.

As the Delta variant pushes a rise in COVID-19 cases, the White House is sending $100 million to rural health centers to help bring up low vaccination rates.

Oklahoma has 34 rural health clinics that will receive a total of nearly $1.7 million.

"This funding, made possible by the American Rescue Plan, will provide nearly 2,000 rural health clinics the resources they need to better reach unvaccinated Americans in their communities with information about COVID-19 and the vaccines and answers to their questions," White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients said during a Thursday briefing.

The Biden administration believes rural health clinics are trusted sources of information for residents. Oklahoma has several such clinics in counties where vaccination rates are among the lowest in the state.

"Each shot matters. Each additional person fully vaccinated is a step closer to putting this pandemic behind us," Zients said.

Vaccines are highly effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 97% of recent COVID hospitalizations and deaths in the U.S. have been unvaccinated people.

According to the CDC, just under 40% of Oklahomans are fully vaccinated, a rate worse than all but nine other states.