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Oklahoma Health Officials Plan To Go Small To Increase COVID Vaccine Accessibility

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Oklahoma health officials have a new priority in their vaccine program: the 15 percent who want it but haven't had it.

Deputy Commissioner of Health Keith Reed said that surveys show two-thirds of Oklahoma adults are willing to get their shot. About 50.5 percent actually have. Reaching the rest will take another plan update.

When the vaccine program first kicked off in December, targeted clinics catered to priority groups. Once everyone became eligible in the spring, the focus moved to mass vaccination sites. Then smaller, localized clinics.

Reed said now, that strategy will be even more targeted.

"We have mobile vans, mobile health units, and we are absolutely putting on some road shows," Reed said. "Going into neighborhoods is just the next step."

Health officials say because demand has stalled, they've started turning away vaccine allocation to keep from wasting doses. But they’re hopeful Oklahoma can reach three million vaccinated by Memorial Day.

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Catherine Sweeney reports for StateImpact Oklahoma, focusing on health.
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