Beginning Jan. 7, Oklahomans could begin registering to receive the COVID-19 vaccination using the Oklahoma State Department of Health COVID-19 online portal. The purpose of the vaccine portal is to allow eligible Oklahomans to schedule their COVID-19 vaccination based on their eligibility.
The OSDH has established a framework of a four-phased plan to administer the vaccine. The first doses of the vaccine arrived on Dec. 14 and were reserved for priority groups, starting with frontline health care professionals and residents of long-term care facilities. That was phase 1. As this newsletter was going to print, OSDH had entered into the beginning stages of phase 2, which includes adults age 65 and older, including adults of any age with specified underlying health concerns. OSDH estimates that there are more than 800,000 Oklahomans eligible to receive the vaccine in phase 2.
According to OSDH, vaccine appointment availability is dependent upon vaccine supply. New appointments are added as vaccine supply allows. The OSDH and the Tulsa County Health Department are working together regarding vaccine distribution. The state is reliant on COVID-19 vaccines supplied by the federal government. Officials reportedly are notified of shipments one week at a time. The limited supplies make it logistically impossible for OSDH to schedule vaccinations weeks in advance.
What is the Vaccine Scheduler Portal? The Vaccine Scheduler Portal is an online scheduling tool to help Oklahomans determine when they are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and help them schedule an appointment when it is their turn.
Where can I access the Vaccine Scheduler Portal? You can access the portal using your computer or mobile phone at http://vaccinate.oklahoma.gov/.
What if I don’t have access to the internet or a mobile device? If you can’t access the internet or need assistance accessing the portal, it is recommended that you ask a family member or friend to assist you with the registration process. If you prefer to use a phone, you can check your vaccine eligibility by calling 211. The OSDH strongly encourages Oklahomans to use the portal if they are able for a quicker, more efficient registration. Officials reportedly are notified of shipments one week at a time. The limited supplies make it logistically impossible for OSDH to schedule vaccinations weeks in advance.
Who can register right now? Anyone is able to pre-register and enter their information. However, only Oklahoma residents who are 65 years of age or older, as well as health care workers and first responders, will be able to schedule appointments in the system.
What types of questions will I need to answer on the portal to register for a vaccine? Your answers to the required OSDH questionnaire provide information regarding your readiness for COVID-19 vaccination and offer guidance and instruction to ensure your safety. You will be asked for demographic details such as race, ethnicity, gender and age. Medical history, including current and past ailments and allergy information, are included on the questionnaire, as is your COVID-19 infection history. You will also be asked for contact information. It’s important that you answer each question with “yes” as it applies to you. Do not skip over this part because these answers are what puts you into the correct priority group. For example, people 65 or older must choose “yes” to indicate they belong in this phase group. The OSDH will never ask you for your bank account number, password or other financial information.
What is the difference between pre-registration and scheduling an appointment? Pre-registration allows anyone in Oklahoma to register their contact information with the Oklahoma State Department of Health and indicate that they would like to be notified when the vaccine is available to them. After you enter your information, if you’re eligible to receive the vaccine, you will receive an email with instructions on how to schedule your appointment. You must register at http://vaccinate.oklahoma.gov/ to receive email notifications regarding vaccine appointment availability.
What happens once I enter my information? When you use the portal to enter your information, a message will be sent to the email address you provide to let you know if you are eligible to receive the vaccine at this time. If you are part of a priority group currently eligible to receive the vaccine, you will be able to schedule your appointment. The email will direct you to the portal to schedule your appointment.
Does registering allow me to move forward in line to get the vaccine? No. Registering will not change when you receive your vaccine. There is no list for Oklahomans to be added to in order to be included in the state’s phased approach to vaccine distribution. However, registering and providing your contact information will make it easier for the state to notify you when it is your turn.
When can I use the Vaccine Scheduler Portal to schedule my appointment? If you are part of a priority group currently eligible to receive the vaccine, you will be able to register immediately for your appointment. The email you receive after registration will direct you back to the portal to schedule your appointment based on vaccine availability at the location you select. Once you schedule your appointment, a confirmation email will be sent to you with a QR code and a record of your appointment time and location. You will also receive email reminders as your appointment date approaches. You will need a photo ID and the QR code from your confirmation email to check in the day of your appointment.
I have registered and am part of the current vaccination phase, but there are no appointment slots available. What do I do? If you qualify to sign up for an appointment at this point in time, you should receive a link to sign up for an appointment once they become available. Due to the high volume of sign-ups, it’s possible that time slots may be limited. Please note that appointment availability is dependent on the current vaccine supply in each county.
Why are there so few appointments available? The number of appointments depends on the availability of the vaccine. The state and counties receive a weekly supply of the vaccine that determines the number of appointments that can be booked. With demand being so high, it is expected that time slots will fill up quickly. If all slots are filled, you can check back periodically for the next available appointment.
I pre-registered, but I didn’t get a confirmation email. This probability is because you’re not in the current phase group. However, you will be notified when the vaccine is available to you. It should be noted that registering early does not guarantee an appointment slot when your phase opens; it simply makes the booking process quicker.
What emails should I expect to receive from the Vaccine Scheduler Portal? Currently, there are only two emails that you should expect from this system. One is a registration confirmation email and the other is a phase confirmation email that contains a link to set up an appointment.
What happens after my first appointment? How do I know when to get my second dose? The COVID-19 vaccines currently in use require a second dose. You need both doses in order for the vaccine to work correctly. Once you attend your first vaccine appointment, you will receive a follow-up email and an opportunity to schedule your second dose appointment.
Can I pre-register and schedule an appointment for multiple people in my household at the same time? The same email may be used to register people in your household. However, each registration must be entered separately. You may register other members of your household by entering their individual information into the system. As appointments become available for each individual, they will be notified by email.
How do I check for available appointments each week? When you’re eligible to receive the vaccine, you’ll receive an email with a direct link that is unique to you to sign up for available appointments. We recommend bookmarking or keeping this link handy in your inbox because you will need to use it to check back for new appointment slots each week. If you’re having trouble finding available appointments, we encourage you to check back periodically throughout the week for new openings. The best time each week to check for available appointments is between 5 p.m. on Wednesday and 8 a.m. on Thursday. However, you can use your sign-up link to check for appointments at any time.
How much does the vaccine cost? COVID-19 vaccine doses purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be provided to Americans free of charge.
When should I receive the second dose of the vaccine? It’s recommended that you should get your second dose 21 to 28 days after your first dose of the vaccine, depending on which vaccine you get. However, it can be later if needed; the timeline is flexible. You do not need to schedule your second dose appointment on exactly the 21-day or 28-day timeline.
How do I register for the second vaccine dose? You are able to use the portal to schedule your second dose appointment. As you go through the scheduling process, the portal will prompt you to answer if the appointment is for your second dose or first. You do not have to receive your second dose from the same location you received the first dose. Additionally, it is not required to schedule your second appointment through the portal. The portal is intended to be another option for Oklahomans to schedule their COVID-19 vaccine.