More than one million Oklahomans will soon be eligible for the coronavirus vaccine, as the state moves forward into the next stages of its vaccine plan.
Gov. Kevin Stitt announced Thursday that beginning on February 22, Oklahoma is opening more priority groups within its vaccine plan’s second phase.
"We'll be making the vaccine available to school teachers and staff of all ages," said Stitt. "We're also opening up to all Oklahomans with comorbidities the ability to get the vaccine."
Teachers, and support staff such as bus drivers and cafeteria workers, who work in common education (pre-K through 12th grade) qualify. The state expects that is nearly 90,000 people.
Per @HealthyOklahoma commissioner Lance Frye, February 22 will be the first date for #oklaed teachers and support staff in preK-12 schools can begin receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. All teachers should be able to get the vax by Spring Break.
— Robby Korth (@RobbyKorth) February 11, 2021
Following the announcement, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister urged all Oklahomans, including teachers, to get the vaccine when they're eligible. She also pressed for disease mitigation.
"Our teachers and support staff deserve and need to work in a safe and secure environment," said Hofmeister. "Giving them this opportunity to receive the vaccine as soon as reasonably possible is critical. While in-person school is more dependent on COVID mitigation strategies such as masks and social distancing, ensuring the vaccination of teachers is vital to keeping school doors open."
Those under the age of 65 with comorbidities, an estimated one million people, will also qualify in this next phase. That includes people with heart, lung and liver conditions, cancer and those who are severely obese.
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