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Official: 28% of Pittsburg County acquired COVID vaccination | Native Information | mcalesternews.com – Mcalester Information Capital

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Pittsburg County Treasurer Jennifer Lenox-Hackler joined several hundred other individuals in getting her second dose of the COVID-19 vaccination Tuesday at the Expo Center in McAlester.

She didn’t wince as Kelly Lamon, a nurse at Pittsburg County Health Department, gave her the vaccination. Lenox-Hackler said she hardly felt a thing as Lamon administered the shot.

“I’m happy to get it,” she said.

By getting the vaccination, she joined thousands of others who have been given the COVID-19 vaccination in Pittsburg County.

Region 9/Pittsburg County Administrator Juli Montgomery said that as of midday Tuesday, a total of 9,812 individuals older than 16 in Pittsburg County received a COVID-19 vaccination since the inoculations began.

Montgomery said that represents 28% of Pittsburg County’s population over the age of 16, which she said totals 34,966. While some vaccinations were administered to people from outside the county, the majority of the vaccines were given to Pittsburg County residents.

The number of total vaccinations in the county could be more. Montgomery said she’s acting on numbers compiled by the Oklahoma State Immunization Information System, known as the OSIIS, which is a statewide registry of immunizations that’s operated by the Oklahoma State Department of Health. It’s possible some of the other entities administering the vaccination had not reported their numbers to the OSSIS, she said.

Montgomery didn’t have a breakdown immediately available of how many had received both rounds of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccinations, and how many have received only one. Like the rest of the nation, the Pittsburg County Health Department is taking a pause in administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, while the federal Centers for Disease Control and Food and Drug Administration look into six reported cases of blood clotting among the 6.8 million doses of that particular vaccine that have been administered in the U.S.

Montgomery said 84,211 COVID-19 vaccinations had been administered as of midday Tuesday in the nine Southeastern Oklahoma counties she covers as the Region 9 Health Department administrator. She said 67,250 of the vaccinations were given by the health department, with the remainder coming from other sources. 

Lenox-Hackler was the 292nd person to get a COVID-19 vaccination during the pod set up at the Expo Center featuring a partnership through a variety of agencies, including the Pittsburg County Health Department, the Oklahoma National Guard, the McAlester/Pittsburg County Office of Emergency Management, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and the city of McAlester.

“I wish I could have been able to get it sooner than I did,” she said — a reference to having to wait until she became eligible to receive the first round of the vaccination about a month ago.

Nurses and their teams had stations set up inside the Expo Center, where multiple vaccinations could be given at the same time if it became necessary because of an influx of people seeking to get immunized to COVID-19.

Montgomery, along with District 9/Pittsburg County Regional Nurse Manager Melissa Locke, operated a computer station inside the Expo Center, where they could track the numbers.

Around 1 p.m., those seeking vaccinations were still trickling in, leaving little chance of those administering the vaccinations of becoming overwhelmed. Montgomery had hoped for a bigger response.

“We’re a little slow, Montgomery said. “We were hoping for at least 500 people to get the second round before we close.”

By the end of the day, they came close to achieving that number.

McAlester/Pittsburg County Office of Emergency Management Deputy Director Lois Lupardus handed a numbered card to everyone who entered the Expo Center, where those seeking the vaccination had to go through a pre-screening process to determine things such as if they were currently ill or had any allergies, before they could be approved to receive the vaccination at that time.

She handed out 463 of the numbered cards and 453 vaccinations were administered, only 47 short of the 500 vaccination threshold.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.

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