Virus Outbreak Oklahoma

Oklahoma Commissioner of Health Lance Frye, M.D., speaks during a news conference July 9 in Oklahoma City. Despite rising numbers of confirmed cases and hospitalizations due to COVID-19 infections in Oklahoma, Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt said he remains opposed to mandating that residents wear masks.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health has released its online COVID-19 vaccination scheduling portal, which is now open for pre-registration.

Anybody can pre-register in the portal, but starting Thursday, eligible individuals will be able to schedule appointments based on availability in their area.

The portal determines eligibility through a questionnaire that asks specific questions about age, co-morbidities, profession and more.

“Beginning Jan. 7 only Oklahomans who are 65 [and older], healthcare workers and/or first responders will be able to schedule appointments,” the health department said in a press release. “As our state advances in our phased approach to vaccine distribution, the system will notify and allow individuals in additional priority groups and phases the opportunity to schedule their appointment.”

Even if an individual is eligible to receive the vaccine, there is no guarantee that they will receive an appointment immediately, the department said. While the Cleveland County Health Department started hosting vaccination clinics this week, the clinics filled up within an hour of being posted online.

“Appointment availability will depend on vaccine supply in each county, which changes from week to week as the state receives more vaccine doses from the federal government,” they said.

The department said individuals who are not yet eligible to receive the vaccine should still pre-register in the portal, because doing so will allow them to be notified when they become eligible and when there is appointment available.

“As a reminder, there is no list for Oklahomans to be added to in order to be included in the state’s phased approach to vaccine distribution,” the department said. “The Vaccine Scheduler Portal is a tool to help notify eligible Oklahomans when and where they can receive the vaccine when an appointment is available to them.”

Visit vaccinate.oklahoma.gov to pre-register for the portal.

Reese Gorman covers COVID-19, local politics and elections for The Transcript; reach him at rgorman@normantranscript.com or @reeseg_3.

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Staff Writer

Reese Gorman covers a wide array of issues for The Norman Transcript, with a primary focus on elections and coverage of local politicians. He started as an intern in May of 2020 and transitioned into his current position as a reporter in August of 2020.

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