TULSA — The COVID-19 vaccination program in Oklahoma compares favorably with the most efficient in the nation early on in the effort to curb the deadly disease.
Friday, Johnson & Johnson released data from its Stage 3 clinical trials, indicating its vaccine, while less effective overall than the Pfizer or Moderna versions, nevertheless showed clear signs of reducing illness and preventing deaths.
Later on Friday, Dr. Doug Drevets, Chief of Infectious Disease at OU Health, discussed the ramifications of Johnson & Johnson’s announcement.
He said Oklahoma’s vaccination efforts to date have succeeded.
“The rollout in Oklahoma has actually been quite good,” Drevets said. “We are among the top ten states in terms of getting vaccine actually into arms, as opposed to keeping it in freezers.”
So, in the quest for the somewhat ambiguous but hopeful goal of “herd immunity,” Oklahoma may have an edge - though it’s a bit of a double-edged sword.
The early success of the vaccination program, and the possibility of more supplies on the horizon, means more immunity.
But people also develop a level of immunity after unfortunately getting sick, and in that category, Oklahoma is also a national leader.
“We’ve had an awful lot of COVID in the state for the last two months,” Drevets said. “We’re among the top five in the country for the per capita COVID cases.”