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Official: Hope, long road still ahead with COVID vaccines

December 19, 2020 GMT

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma health officials say while the state has taken an important step with the start of vaccinations to combat the coronavirus pandemic, there is still “a long road ahead of us.”

Oklahoma has received all of its initial allotment of 39,975 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to officials.

More than 2,200 individuals, mostly front-line health care workers have been vaccinated.

“It’s been a historic, yet emotional week for our health care heroes,” said Keith Reed, deputy commissioner of health with the Oklahoma State Department of Health. “However, we still have a long road ahead of us. We’re seeing record highs of cases and we urge Oklahomans to keep doing their part to protect each other until we can all receive the vaccine in 2021.”

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On Saturday, the state health department reported 255,868 total virus cases and 2,189 deaths since the pandemic began, increases of 4,108 cases and 28 more deaths than reported Friday.

Oklahoma’s Republican U.S. senators, Jim Inhofe and James Lankford, announced Friday they had received the vaccine.

“I am fully confident in its safety and efficacy and I urge all Oklahomans and Americans to get the vaccine when it is available to them,” Inhofe said.