COVID-19 vaccination clinics will begin to open in Stephens County this Thursday, according to the Health Department, and those under Phase 2, including those 65 and older, will be eligible to take part.

Each week in January, the Health Department will provide vaccinations from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays, beginning Jan. 7, at the Stephens County Fairgrounds, located at 2002 S. 13th st., Duncan. 

Mendy Spohn, Regional Administrative Director for the Oklahoma State Department of Health District 8 — which includes Carter, Garvin, Jefferson, Johnston, Love, Marshall, Murray, Pontotoc and Stephens Counties — said they are excited to provide the vaccine to community members. The first event on Thursday includes first responders, healthcare workers and those ages 65 and up. Anyone who is in quarantine or under isolation should not attend.

“We are viewing this as our light at the end of the tunnel with the pandemic” Spohn said. “We urge all eligible Oklahomans to get the vaccine as soon as it is available to them. There will be continuing supplies coming into the state, and we will keep adding populations to the eligibility list as soon as we can open it up.”

While the weekly vaccination clinics take place in Duncan, as well as Ardmore and Ada, OSDH will also set up smaller events and “strike teams” in all of the counties of District 8 as “supplies and staffing allow.” According to the Health Department, “residents and staff in long-term care facilities will receive vaccination through contracts with CVS or Walgreen’s, or from local health departments.” 

Appointments are available on the County Health Department’s Facebook page, but according to a release, walk-ins will still be accepted. All appointments for the Jan. 7 event are full. The Department of Health also says plans are underway to “reach those who are medically fragile, homebound, or unable to walk or sit.”

According to Spohn, County Health Departments will continue posting updates to their social media on who is eligible for the vaccine each week, but expectations are to open up quickly to other populations under Phase 2 as more vaccines are delivered.

“We definitely have a sense of urgency based on what our medical partners are seeing in the hospitals due to this virus.” Spohn said. “Please help our healthcare system by continuing to wear a mask, wash your hands and watch your distance as these are still key components of minimizing the spread of COVID at this time.”

The weekly Thursday clinics at the Fairgrounds will not be the only opportunity, however. According to information obtained from DRH Health, beginning Friday, Jan. 8, DRH will host a vaccination clinic from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each Friday in the DRH Pavilion, contingent on vaccine supply. For more information or to schedule a vaccination, call 580-251-8040 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

DRH will schedule the vaccination as quickly as possible and those who appear to take it are asked to bring their insurance card if available. As soon as the first vaccination is given, the patient will immediately be scheduled for the booster vaccination and provided with that information as well. DRH also remains in Phase 2 of vaccination distribution and at this time accepts appointments for healthcare workers, first responders and those over the age of 65.

Those who take it will need to allow time for registration, the vaccination and a 15 minute observation period.

For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, visit oklahoma.gov/covid19/vaccine-information or call 211. To schedule an appointment with the Stephens County Health Department for a Thursday clinic, visit https://www.facebook.com/StephensCoHealthDept/.

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