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THD Inclement Weather Plans for Safe COVID-19 Vaccine Administration

TULSA, OK – [February 11, 2021] – Due to current weather conditions that warranted the cancellation of COVID-19 vaccine appointments this week, and the increasing probability for more severe weather, the Tulsa Health Department (THD) has canceled vaccine clinic operations on Friday, February 12th and Monday, February 15th. Individuals with appointments for these days will be rescheduled by THD staff. 

“When we consider canceling, we don’t take that decision lightly and there’s a lot of thought that goes in to that decision,” said THD Division Chief of Prevention, Preparedness and Response Kelly VanBuskirk,  “We know residents are anxious and ready to receive their first or second dose, however, it comes down to the safety of them and our staff.”

THD wants to continue to vaccinate Oklahomans, but residents’ safety, especially when traveling to appointments, remains paramount. With ice and snow in the future forecast, THD wants to ensure those coming for their appointment can safely navigate the parking lot and sidewalk into the vaccine clinic.

“Taking that into consideration, we don’t want the risk of anyone falling and getting hurt; especially those with mobility limitations,” added VanBuskirk. “We are in direct communication with Tulsa County, City of Tulsa and staff at Expo to determine future operational needs based on incoming weather.”

Individuals who were scheduled this week and had their appointment canceled are receiving communication from THD about their rescheduled appointment. 

“We are shifting schedules to days we have no new appointments scheduled to accommodate them, and will operate on Saturdays to get them vaccinated in a timely fashion. They do not need to cancel or reschedule using the Oklahoma Vaccine Portal. Moving the appointment is automatically being done for them by THD staff,” said VanBuskirk.

Individuals who received their first dose from THD and were automatically scheduled to return for their second dose and those with scheduled first dose appointments will receive an email from THD with their new rescheduled date. Emails are being sent to the email addresses that were used to register in the Oklahoma Vaccine Portal. Those who registered without using an email will be called by a THD representative.

The Centers for Disease Control has issued guidance that the second dose should be administered as close to the recommended interval as possible. However, if it is not feasible to adhere to the recommended interval and a delay in vaccination is unavoidable, the second dose of Pfizer Or Moderna COVID vaccines may be administered up to 6 weeks (42 days) after the first dose. 

We are asking individuals to come at the same time as their original appointment, but on this new date,” said THD Emergency Preparedness and Response Manager Alicia Etgen.  “We are also moving to a new building on the Expo grounds to accommodate these rescheduled appointments.” 
In order to accommodate the rescheduled vaccine appointments, THD will not be adding new Tulsa County appointments to the Oklahoma Vaccine Portal this week. Individuals who are being rescheduled will receive an email notification. They are asked to come at the exact same appointment time of day as their original appointment. 

 Appointments originally scheduled on

February 10th will be made up on Saturday, February 20th at the lower level of the River Spirit Expo.
February 11th will be made up on Thursday, February 18th at the lower level of the River Spirit Expo.
February 12th will be made up on February 22nd and February 25th at the Expo Square Pavilion. Now lower level of the River Spirit Expo​​​​​
Only those on the roster at 5pm on February 11th will be rescheduled for this make-up date.
For individuals who had appointments at the top of the hour (i.e. 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 1:00, 2:00 or 3:00) you have been rescheduled for Monday, February 22nd, at the same time as your originally scheduled appointment.
For individuals who had appointments at the half hour (i.e. 9:30, 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 1:30 or 2:30) you have been rescheduled for Thursday, February 25th, at the same time as your originally scheduled appointment.
Appointments originally scheduled on February 15th will be made up on Saturday, February 27th, at the Expo Square Pavilion. Now lower level of the River Spirit Expo​​​​​
February 17th will be made up on Wednesday, March 3rd, at the Expo Square Pavilion. Now lower level of the River Spirit Expo​​​​​.
Only those on the roster at noon on February 16th will be rescheduled for this make-up date.

THD staff will continue to monitor weather conditions and will notify residents if conditions warrant further cancellations. Those who are unable to make it to their rescheduled appointment date should utilize the Oklahoma Vaccine Portal to find a new appointment.

THD assures residents that vaccine doses are not being wasted due to these cancellations. Each day, THD staff plans to pick up the vaccine needed for the scheduled appointments, in order to avoid the risk of not being able to use the vaccine removed from the freezer during the allotted time. “We will not waste vaccine,” said Etgen.  “If we have any taken out of cold storage that we are not able to use, we will utilize community partners who are operating so the doses are in the arms of individuals before the due date.“ 

More information regarding vaccine availability in Tulsa County can be found on our COVID-19 vaccine page. For information regarding the Oklahoma COVID-19 Vaccine Plan, including the priority population framework for Oklahoma, please visit 

The Tulsa Health Department continues to offer specimen collection for COVID-19 testing by appointment only. Appointments can be scheduled online. Call 918-582-9355 to speak to a public health professional. For more information, please visit our COVID-19 page.

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