Oklahoma has dropped its residency requirement for receiving the coronavirus vaccine, citing an increasing supply and vaccination progress.
Health officials say beginning Thursday, Oklahoma will open vaccine eligibility to residents of neighboring states and beyond.
"We are now reaching that point and are happy to extend a welcome to our neighbors as part of our efforts to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in the region," Deputy Commissioner Keith Reed said in a statement. "This virus does not adhere to boundaries drawn on a map, so by ensuring high vaccination rates across the region — not just Oklahoma — we are providing an extra layer of protection for our residents."
Oklahoma is one of the first states to remove the residency requirement, following several Oklahoma tribes who did so weeks ago.
"This is the right thing to do for our neighbors," said Reed. "We hope to see other states that have fared well in administration rates follow suit as we all continue to work together to bring an end to this pandemic."
The Pfizer vaccine is approved for people 16 and older with parental consent, while Moderna and Johnson & Johnson's vaccines are for those 18 and older.
Nearly 44 percent of Oklahoma adults have received at least one shot of the coronavirus vaccine.
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