After several days of winter weather affected COVID-19 vaccine distribution in Oklahoma, officials on Wednesday announced they expect a boost in shipments on top of an already-anticipated increase next week.
“While the timing of this inclement winter weather is frustrating for widespread vaccine distribution efforts across the country, we want to reassure Oklahomans that our team is prepared to face this challenge head on,” Deputy Health Commissioner Keith Reed said in a statement. “We are doing everything in our power to avoid large-scale waste during this time and to continue serving as many Oklahomans as possible.”
Starting the week of Feb. 22, Reed said Oklahoma can expect 25% more Pfizer vaccines to be shipped in addition to a 20% increase already anticipated. Timelines for distribution could be delayed, but a total 137,000 doses are expected by the end of next week from Pfizer and Moderna.
The Tulsa Health Department for two consecutive Wednesdays has opted not to put new appointments into the state vaccination portal to allow for the rescheduling of approximately 8,000 patients who’ve been affected by weather. Other health departments may still add appointments later in the evening, Tulsa officials said Wednesday.
State officials said clinics will be added to focus on those 65 and older who may have missed their appointments, including for booster doses of the vaccine.
“If the weather allows, these focused clinics are slated to begin this weekend,” a release states, with appointments added Wednesday night and Thursday to the state portal, vaccinate.oklahoma.gov.
The Tulsa Health Department’s vaccination clinic is scheduled to be open Thursday; the agency has published a schedule and notified those patients who missed appointments due to weather.
Feb. 11 video: Weather affecting Oklahoma’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution
More guidance for Oklahomans signing up through the state COVID-19 vaccine portal during Phase 2