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Oklahoma State Department of Health announces new app to aid vaccine distribution

Published: Jan. 4, 2021 at 6:28 PM CST
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ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) - The Oklahoma State Department of Health announced on Monday they have created an app to help distribute the COVID-19 vaccine in the state.

The health department asked Microsoft to develop the app after deciding that the CDC’s vaccine distribution app didn’t meet all of the state’s needs.

The CDC’s app is geared towards Health Care Providers, but Oklahoma Health Commissioner Lance Frye said the health department wanted an app for any Oklahoman to see how far away they are from being eligible and give them an easy way to schedule a vaccine appointment.

“We’d like to get this vaccine out as quickly as we can,” Frye said. “We’d like it to be available to every single person and we’ll keep working it until we get there.”

Deputy Commissioner Keith Reed said now that they’ve started giving out vaccines, the health department isn’t worried about a lack of interest.

“Our phone lines quite frankly are experiencing a bit of a burden,” Reed said.

The vaccine points of dispensing, or PODS, are busy, which makes scheduling a priority.

“They were filling up very rapidly,” Reed said. “We didn’t want to create a lot of chaos for people trying to get into some of these pods in different regions of the state.”

The state has 180,000 vaccines, and most of them are Moderna. Reed said he wants to make sure they’re given to Oklahomans.

“The screening in the app will identify addresses,” Reed said. “We are not limiting people to a particular county to get a vaccine. A lot of people travel to work and there’s a number of circumstances that might require somebody to get a vaccine in a place they don’t reside in. We’re working hard to try to keep this for Oklahoma residents.”

The vaccine app should go live by the end of the week.

Until then Oklahomans with questions can call 211.

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