Daily virus records continue to be broken, most Oklahomans ready for COVID-19 vaccination

Michael D. Smith

A recent survey of Oklahomans shows a vast majority plan on receiving a COVID-19 vaccination when it becomes available to them. About 78% of respondents believe that vaccines are generally safe, while about 65% plan on getting the vaccine.

“We’re pleased to see the results of this survey indicate most Oklahomans are confident in the safety of vaccines — as are we,” said state health commissioner Dr. Lance Frye in a Tuesday statement. “The COVID-19 vaccines available to Oklahomans have been carefully vetted by the FDA and have gone through all the typical regulatory processes to ensure they’re just as safe as any other vaccine. They’re outstandingly effective. We’re very optimistic for how these vaccines will work to protect Oklahomans.”

The seven-day average of new hospitalizations in Oklahoma Wednesday climbed past 160 for only the third time, according to state health department data compiled by The Ardmoreite

The survey was conducted between Dec. 4 and Dec. 9 and included a pool of 1,500 adults from cities and towns across the state, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health on Monday. The gap between all who believe vaccines are safe and those who actually plan to get the COVID-19 vaccine is mostly younger Oklahoma residents and women seeking more information

Oklahoma has recorded 287,030 cases of COVID-19, after 3,249 new cases were confirmed on Wednesday. The death toll in Oklahoma rose to 2,453 after 48 new deaths were reported on Wednesday. Only Dec. 2 recorded more Oklahoma deaths in a single day.

Active cases statewide remained well above 32,000 on Wednesday, down from a record 36,048 recorded on Christmas day but still above 30,000 for a 20th consecutive day. About 360 of those active cases Wednesday were recorded in Carter County.

Statewide hospitalizations continue at a record pace with 387 new hospital admissions for COVID-19 reported on Wednesday. The previous one-day record for most new hospitalizations in a single day was 285 on Dec. 2. Wednesday also marked the second consecutive day with more than 1,900 COVID-19 patients actively receiving hospital care in Oklahoma.

Carter County has recorded 2,685 cases of COVID-19 since March 25, with almost two-thirds of them recorded since Nov. 1. The seven-day average of new cases in Carter County fell to its lowest level in about two weeks but still remains near 20 new cases in the county every day.

About two out of every three cases of COVID-19 in Carter County have been recorded in November and December.

Other significant findings from the recent vaccination survey show about 74% of respondents said potential side-effects are the main reason they would not get the vaccine. Oklahomans who expect to get the vaccine said they would do so to protect their household and help life return to normal.

Side effects noticed by state health officials are in line with side effects for other commonly received vaccines, such as the annual flu shot. They include pain at the injection site, muscle aches, headache, fatigue, shivering and occasionally fever. In the vast majority of cases, these effects are minor and should go away within a day or two.