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Winter weather slows Oklahoma’s COVID vaccine distribution

February 16, 2021 GMT

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A winter storm that brought heavy snowfall and record-breaking freezing temperatures slowed Oklahoma’s distribution of the coronavirus vaccine on Tuesday.

Health officials in many cities and counties across the state worked to reschedule vaccination appointments. The Tulsa County Health Department kept delivering vaccines Tuesday at the city’s Expo Square Pavilion. Still, it cautioned people with appointments to dress warmly and wait in their vehicle until their scheduled appointment time.

“Due to the dangerously cold weather, no one will be permitted to wait outside,” the agency warned.

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Tulsa reported more than 6,000 appointments were rescheduled by the department due to inclement weather.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported 20 new COVID-19 deaths and 508 confirmed new cases on Tuesday. That pushes the statewide death toll to 4,061 and the total number of confirmed cases to 414,780 since the pandemic began last March.

Oklahoma slipped to 15th in the nation in percentage of its population that has received at least one dose of the vaccine at 12.2%, compared to a national average of 12%, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.