Health departments increasing rural vaccine availability

Health departments increasing rural vaccine availability

LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - As COVID-19 vaccination efforts continue across the state, the focus is shifting towards providing rural areas access to the vaccine.

Tuesday, vaccine pods were held in Medicine Park, Tipton and Sentinel.

“We know there are people early on who might have had challenges with registering on the portal or just walked away from that process because they found it challenging. We also know we were short-staffed at health departments, so it was difficult to get answers. And we know everyone is not on Facebook where we post things daily. We’re excited to have partnerships at the local, rural area level to spread this information,” said Debra Johnson, Community Engagement and Health Planning Director for the Comanche County Health Department.

People were able to make appointments at those pods or simply walk in to get their shots or to simply learn more about the vaccine.

“We have people who end up showing up just to ask questions to our nurses. We understand there are still questions about the vaccine and hesitancy, so we invite those questions. We want that individual to make an informed decision for them,” Johnson said.

More rural pods will be popping up throughout the rest of the week, including in Snyder Wednesday, Olustee Thursday and Blair on Friday. At least for the time being, all of those clinics will have each of the three brands of the vaccine in stock.

“We get shipments, so it just depends on when and where that clinic falls but most who are requesting a specific type right now are those who have waited for Johnson and Johnson and so far we’ve been able to meet that request. Obviously, if they’re needing a second dose, it’s got to be specific to Pfizer or Moderna. Those requesting Johnson and Johnson right now, we’re in a good place to meet that need.,” Johnson said.

If you want to view all of the upcoming vaccination pods in your area, the best way to do that is by going to your county health department’s Facebook page.

Copyright 2021 Texoma News Network. All rights reserved.