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Owasso hospital staff among first wave to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Owasso hospital staff among first wave to receive COVID-19 vaccine

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HEADLIGHTS FOR HOPE (copy)

Medical personnel look out a hospital window during an event in April called Headlights for Hope at Bailey Medical Center in Owasso.

The Oklahoma State Health Department’s online portal to pre-register for a COVID-19 vaccine went live earlier this month at vaccinate.oklahoma.gov.

The new website allows those seeking the vaccine to register, learn what phase of eligibility they are in and eventually receive a link to clinics administering doses.

As of Friday, 110,458 injections have been administered to Oklahomans 65 or older, health care workers and/or first responders, including several in Owasso, as part of Phase 2 of the state’s vaccine distribution plan.

Over 100 employees at Bailey Medical Center, for example, have received a vaccine in the last two weeks.

Nursing Supervisor Julia Ernest and ER Manager Brandi McManus are among those at the Owasso hospital who were inoculated through the Tulsa Health Department.

“Really it wasn’t that different from getting a flu shot,” said Ernest, who only received the first dose. “My arm was a little sore, and then afterwards I was a little tired and achy, but I haven’t had any other symptoms from it.”

McManus, who received both doses, added, “I had a wonderful experience. Everybody was kind, they were knowledgeable and just willing to help with patients … I couldn’t speak more highly of the Tulsa Health Department and their staff.”

The Owasso Reporter’s attempts to receive vaccination numbers and feedback from medical staff at Ascension St. John in Owasso were unsuccessful.

Over 271,000 Oklahomans have registered through the state’s portal to receive notifications on eligibility, as of Friday. Those eligible for inoculation are able to schedule an appointment, and those not yet eligible will receive an email when their phase is ready.

The state vaccine portal can also be accessed through THD, at tulsa-health.org.

Kevin Canfield with the Tulsa World contributed to this story.

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