Deputy Commissioner Keith Reed addresses vaccine distribution response in winter weather

Deputy Commissioner Keith Reed addresses vaccine distribution response in winter weather

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (TNN) - The Oklahoma State Department of Health’s Deputy Commissioner Keith Reed has issued a statement regarding Oklahoma’s vaccine distribution response to severe winter weather storms.

“While the timing of this inclement winter weather is frustrating for widespread vaccine distribution efforts across the country, we want to reassure Oklahomans that our team is prepared to face this challenge head on. We are doing everything in our power to avoid large-scale waste during this time and to continue serving as many Oklahomans as possible,” said Reed.

Reed goes on to say that the OSDH doesn’t expect the overall vaccine supply to be impacted by the weather, but that timelines for distribution may be delayed multiple days.

Due to widespread cancellation of vaccine clinics during the winter weather, the OSDH plans to add clinics that will focus on vaccinating our 65+ group, particularly those in need of their boost doses.

If weather permits, the focused clinics are planned to begin this coming weekend, with appointments opening up through the portal throughout Thursday February 18.

He says that starting next week the OSDH expects to receive an additional 25% of supply from Pfizer, which is on top of the of the already anticipated 20% increase they expect to receive early to middle of next week.

This will make an anticipated 137,000 doses of both Pfizer and Moderna vaccine in first and second doses.

Reed says they are also taking precautions to prevent vaccine waste.

“We are also taking precautions to prevent any vaccine waste in the face of potential power outages and appointment cancellations. Our vaccine is managed through a combination of temperature monitoring systems and back-up generators. In situations of power outages, where a backup generator is not available, vaccine is quickly moved to a secondary site,” he said.

He said if power outages cause decreased shelf life of the vaccine, then those will be prioritized for rapid administration in upcoming clinics.

Copyright 2021 Texoma News Network. All rights reserved.