12.27.20 – KOCO – OKLAHOMA CITY
Oklahoma City firefighters got the COVID-19 vaccine on Christmas Day. This means Oklahoma has now moved into phase two of its vaccine plan, which starts off with first responders.
According to officials, 500 doses of the Moderna vaccine went to the Oklahoma City Fire Department. Oklahoma City firefighters are now some of the first of Oklahoma’s first responders to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.Advertisement
Fire officials said the 500 doses won’t cover every firefighter, but it’s positive a start. This comes after the state received its first shipment of the Pfizer vaccine on Dec. 14 and the Moderna vaccine on Dec. 21.
“We don’t want to sit on vaccines, we want it moving into people’s arms as quickly as possibly,” said Keith Reed, Oklahoma State Department of Health’s deputy commissioner.
According to the states vaccine distribution plan, first responders are first to get the vaccine under phase two, and then it’s healthcare workers providing care for COVID-19 patients, followed by adults 65 and older and then pre-K through 12th grade teachers and support staff.
Staff and residents in congregate locations are next, which includes prison staff and inmates.
State health leaders said phase two’s rollout won’t have an impact on those in phase one groups who have yet to receive the vaccine.
“It simply means we’ve got enough vaccine out there in the locations that we can continue vaccinating people in the phase one priority groups and still make good use of additional vaccine inventory and access points to start these other groups,” Reed said. “We don’t shut the door on one group in order to move to another one and because of that you may see that some parts of the state start to shift into phase two groups at a little different timeline than some other parts of the state. It depends on resources the number of people getting vaccinated uptake access points.”
The state is also expected to receive nearly 44,000 more vaccine doses before the end of December.