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Citing slow vaccine rollout, Oklahoma pauses distribution to CVS, Walgreens

Citing slow vaccine rollout, Oklahoma pauses distribution to CVS, Walgreens

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OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma health officials have stopped sending a portion of the state’s COVID-19 vaccines to pharmacies contracted to administer doses to some of the state’s most vulnerable residents.

Keith Reed, Oklahoma’s deputy commissioner of health, said this is a temporary pause in vaccine allocations to allow CVS Health and Walgreens to catch up on the doses set aside for residents and staff in long-term care facilities.

In a legislative budget hearing last week, state health officials blasted the pharmacy chains for the pace at which long-term care residents have been vaccinated as Oklahoma lawmakers questioned why the vaccine rollout to vulnerable communities is taking longer than expected.

A CVS spokeswoman said Monday that CVS pharmacies had completed vaccinations at Oklahoma nursing homes as of Jan. 11; “all 60 skilled-nursing facilities” received prime doses with booster doses “well underway,” according to a news release. CVS was able to begin vaccinations at 116 Oklahoma assisted-living and other long-term care facilities Jan. 18.

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Featured video: Scheduling for vaccines will be difficult to plan, Tulsa Health Department executive director says

Dr. Bruce Dart said Jan. 6 that they will not know their allocation more than a week in advance currently, making planning months or even weeks in advance difficult

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