LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - Another milestone for Oklahoma in the fight against COVID-19... phase 2 vaccinations.
“We are doing all outpatient providers ,first responders, volunteer fire, police it’s wide open for first responders. We are also capturing anyone in Phase 1 who missed out,” said Regional Health Department director Brandie Combs.
Four vaccine locations were set up across Texoma including Great Plains coliseum. Dozens of those in phase 2 stopped by, including Lawton’s Police and Fire Chief.
They received Moderna’s version.
“It was a small needle. It wasn’t painful at all. Going forward, I think it’s important for the safety of our officers,” said Police Chief James Smith.
“Fire fighters and police officers we take an oath to protect and serve and we consider this apart of protecting the public, making sure we aren’t putting them at risk,” said Fire Chief Raanon Adams.
The vaccine is a voluntary decision, but both said they hope a large portion of their departments do take advantage.
“The more of our guys that are getting vaccinated, the easier it makes it on us to roll back some of our precautions,” said Adams.
“It’s been a wide gambit. Some people are nervous, some are apprehensive and some are happy that the vaccine has come forward and they can participate,” said Smith.
Both also agreed that regardless of how many do receive one, it won’t change how they handle calls right away.
“We’re going to keep our same same measures in place until this pandemic is over,” said Smith.
As phase 2 continues other groups of people are awaiting their chance.
“Those who are 65 and older. Followed by those with co-morbidities, our teachers and support staff and our congregate living,” said Combs.
Combs said continuing phase 2 will happen as vaccines become available.
“As the metro area starts catching up and they get their front line health workers vaccinated, we are able to open up more,” said Combs.
And when that happens, a number of community partners will be involved in setting up vaccine pods every few days across the region.
“Every Monday Wednesday and Friday you’ll find a vaccination clinic in Comanche County. What we want right now is vaccines in arms across the community, so this immunity can start working.”
Combs said the pod system will be happening in Comanche, Jackson Beckham and Cotton county, so check the health department’s Facebook page for schedules and to find who is eligible.
If you do plan to receive a vaccine, give yourself some time, and don’t forget your mask. Once you arrive, there will be paperwork.. and after you get the shot you must wait 15 minutes before leaving.