Easy vaccination? Maybe, maybe not …

by Wayne Watts, publisher
 By looking at the Grady County Health Department facebook page, it is easy to see that the vaccination process is somewhat confusing and there are still questions regarding the virus and how the vaccine will help. Here is a compilation of some of the most recent posts.
 The Oklahoma vaccine portal is open for pre-registration!
 IMPORTANT!: Clinic appointments times will be available beginning Thursday January 7th. Signing up for the portal allows you to pre-register to be notified when appointments are available.
 The information below includes details on the portal and clinic process.
 Vaccine Portal Link- https://vaccinate.oklahoma.gov/
 Please Note: Our local health department staff are not able to assist with technical difficulties with the app/portal. Please refrain from calling our office for this type of assistance. We are seeking guidance on where to send those concerns and will update when able.
 The OSDH (Oklahoma State Department of Health) shared an update this afternoon (January 7) on some of the issues you all are facing with the portal, including:
 • They are aware some users are encountering challenges with manually entering addresses that don’t perfectly match what USPS has on file. A system fix is being worked on.
 • Email notifications: Currently, there are only two emails people will receive from this system.
 1) A registration confirmation email. This confirms that you are registered in the system and will be notified when you are eligible to receive the vaccine.
 2) A phase confirmation email with a link to set up an appointment. This email will be sent when you are eligible to receive the vaccine and an appointment is available in your area.
 • Due to the large volume of individuals visiting the portal, some emails may be delayed. Emails should be received within 24 hours during these peak volume times.
 • Appointment availability is dependent upon vaccine supply. New appointments are added as vaccine supply allows. Additionally, please be patient with the scheduler portal today as we work to ensure all available appointments are properly added throughout the day.
 More FAQs on the vaccine portal can be found here- ttps://oklahoma.gov/…/vaccine…/vaccine-faqs.html
 Also on the facebook page is this:
 You CANNOT get COVID-19 from the vaccine.
 The COVID-19 vaccines do not have any virus or other infectious material in them. COVID-19 vaccines help our bodies develop immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19 without us having to get the illness. Different types of vaccines work in different ways to offer protection, but with all types of vaccines, the body is left with a supply of “memory” T-lymphocytes as well as B-lymphocytes that will remember how to fight that virus in the future.
 • It typically takes a few weeks for the body to produce T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes after vaccination. Therefore, it is possible that a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and then get sick because the vaccine did not have enough time to provide protection.
 Thus it is important to wash you hands, wear a mask, and social distance before and after getting vaccinated.
 For more information, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/…/different…/how-they-work.html…
 The OSDH states as a fact that “you need to wear a mask and avoid close contact with others even if you have received 2 doses of the vaccine.
 The facebook post continues with “Although the COVID-19 vaccines currently available are 94.5-95% effective at preventing a severe COVID-19 infection, experts need to understand more about how long the protection lasts and if those vaccinated can spread COVID-19 in the unlikely event they do become infectious.
 On January 6, OSDH posted the following.
 There are no walk in appointments allowed. All appointments must be scheduled through the Vaccine Scheduler Portal.
Please note: if you pre-register today, regardless of priority group, you will receive an automated message saying you are not eligible for appointment. This is to be expected for today, January 6. You will be notified of appointment eligibility beginning tomorrow, January 7, when the initial set of appointments are populated and available.
If you are a healthcare worker, first responder or over the age of 65, you will be eligible for appointments starting tomorrow. Please make sure to check your email first thing tomorrow morning as that will be your first opportunity to schedule your vaccine appointment.
Please visit the following link for more information: Oklahoma.gov/covid19/vaccine-information/vaccine-faqs
 Some reports are that walkups are taken, some reports are that you have to get the vaccine in the county where you live and other reports are that you can go wherever inoculation is taking place. It is probably safest to make the appointment on line or find someone to help you make the appointment.

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