ER nurse is 1st recipient of coronavirus vaccine in Oklahoma
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma City emergency room nurse on Monday became the first person in the state to receive Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine.
Hannah White, 31, laughed before the vaccination and again afterward as she hugged the person who injected her at Integris Baptist Medical Center. She showed no reaction as the needle entered her arm.
“I don’t have any burning at the site, I have no pain. I didn’t feel it,” White said. She encouraged others to get vaccinated as they become eligible based on the state’s four-phase plan.
The first 33,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine began arriving in the state on Monday, according to state health commissioner Dr. Lance Frye. The plan developed by the state health department calls for front-line health care workers to be the first vaccinated.
Long-term care providers and residents, paramedics, emergency medical technicians, and pharmacy staff who will administer the vaccine in long-term care facilities are also slated to be among the first inoculated.
The first phase of vaccinations does not include public school teachers, who are currently due to be vaccinated in the third phase, but that could change, said Gov. Kevin Stitt.
“We are looking at our K-12 teachers, to move them up the list,′ Stitt said.
White was the first of 10 Integris employees who each volunteered to receive the vaccine, said hospital CEO Timothy Pehrson.
“Tomorrow, in earnest, we’ll start vaccinating any caregiver who wishes to receive it,” Pehrson said, as a massive vaccination campaign started to roll out across the U.S.
More doses of the vaccine will arrive each week, with an estimated 166,000 expected in the state by the end of the month, Frye said. That total will include doses of a COVID-19 vaccine produced by Moderna Inc., if the FDA gives it the green light.
The Oklahoma National Guard will distribute the vaccine to various locations in the state as determined by the department of health, said Brig, Gen. K. Cynthia Tinkham, the state guard’s assistant adjutant general.
“Our guard members will be handing off the vaccine to the registered pharmacist who will be handling the vaccine,” Tinkham said Monday.
The state health department reported 2,099 new virus cases and eight additional deaths on Monday.
The seven-day rolling average of new cases in Oklahoma is little changed, from 3,030.7 new cases per day on Nov. 29 to 3,026 on Sunday. The rolling average of daily deaths in the state increased from from 14.6 per day to 24 during the same time frame.