Early December the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Oklahoma, and the State’s phased vaccine administration program began. In less than a month, doses have been administered to long-term care workers and residents, frontline health care workers providing direct COVID-19 patient care and emergency medical personnel. Phase 2 vaccinations have begun and continue, which includes first responders, remaining health care workers, adults over 65 years of age, older adults of any age with comorbidities, teachers and staff, and public health staff supporting frontline efforts. We encourage you to visit the Oklahoma State Department of Health website to stay up to date on the State’s vaccination roll-out plan and understand when the vaccine might be available for you.
To date, Oklahoma has received 175,000 COVID-19 vaccinations and more than 50,000 doses of the vaccine have been administered throughout the state. At Holdenville General Hospital, we are actively vaccinating our health care workers and hope to provide vaccinations for our patients and communities in the coming weeks.
Is the vaccine safe?
Though SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) is a novel virus, coronaviruses are not a recent occurrence; they are a large family of viruses which often circulate among animals and sometimes spread to humans, causing mild to moderate respiratory tract illness. In recent years, new coronaviruses including SARS-CoV (SARS) and MERS-CoV (MERS) emerged, causing widespread illness and death. Scientists built on SARS and MERS research to develop COVID-19 diagnostics, treatment and vaccines. This vital research helped us understand how coronaviruses infect cells and cause disease, and current COVID-19 vaccines were developed from previous data and knowledge. (NIAID.NIH.GOV)
COVID-19 vaccines were tested in large clinical trials to confirm they meet safety standards. Hundreds of thousands of people participated in the clinical trials to understand how the vaccines offer protection to people of different ages, races, and ethnicities, as well as those with different medical conditions. (CDC)
The FDA has rigorous scientific and regulatory processes in place to ensure the safety, effectiveness and quality of both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. Oklahomans should feel confident receiving either vaccine.