Oklahoma passes 5 million vaccines- state urges boosters for return to normalcy

by Jordan Green

More than 5 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered in Oklahoma since the vaccine was first made available one year ago, state health officials said. The first coronavirus vaccine in Oklahoma was administered Dec. 14, 2020.

Since then, more than 2 million Oklahomans have become fully vaccinated, and more than 400,000 have received a booster dose, trends that the Oklahoma State Health Department says have helped curb the pandemic’s spread. “Looking back over the past year, not only has this vaccine saved lives, but the protection it provides has given us the opportunity to resume many of our normal activities, such as going to school and work, attending events and gathering with our loved ones,” said Dr. Gitanjali Pai, the state’s chief medical officer.

“The COVID-19 vaccine is the best tool we have to continue protecting against severe illness and hospitalization. We encourage all Oklahomans, if you haven’t done so already, to get “For those who have completed their initial series and are eligible, we recommend receiving a booster dose for additional protection against emerging variants. As we head into this holiday season, we are grateful to have a readily available preventative tool, as well as other mitigation strategies to help give us peace of mind when celebrating with our families.”

The vaccination milestone comes as a new variant of the coronavirus, the omicron variant, begins to spread across the U.S. State officials reported Dec. 14 that 2,080,566 Oklahomans, about 56.2% of the state’s eligible population, were fully vaccinated.

More than 484,000 Oklahomans have taken a booster dose. As of Dec. 20, Oklahoma has had 689,236 cases of the virus since the pandemic began, 14,568 of which are active, officials said. Statewide, 12,286 people have died from the virus.

Blackwell has had 1,053 cases, with 974 recoveries and 41 deaths. Braman has had 50 cases. Kaw City has had 111 cases, six of which are active. Newkirk has had 694 cases, with 672 recoveries and nine deaths.

Ponca City has had 5,896 cases, with 5,671 recoveries and 112 deaths. Tonkawa has had 587 cases, with 554 recoveries and 18 deaths. The state health department does not provide data on coronavirus cases in some of the state’s smallest towns, including Nardin in Kay County.

Vaccinations are available for free at some pharmacies and stores across the county, among other locations. For more information on vaccinations, or to schedule a vaccine appointment, visit https://oklahoma.gov/ covid19/vaccine-information/vaccine-faqs.html.