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Just a shot away: When the COVID-19 vaccine will arrive in Stillwater

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Americans might soon be hearing a most unexpected, but much needed holiday gift: the COVID-19 vaccine.

An ICU nurse, Sandra Lindsay became the first person in the U.S. to take the coronavirus vaccine in New York last week. 

The COVID-19 vaccine is making its way around the United States, and came to Oklahoma on Monday.

But now the question locally is when can we start to see vaccines arriving in Stillwater? 

Mayor Will Joyce of Stillwater said Wednesday that vaccines were expected to be administered for their frontline personnel at Stillwater Medical Center as early as that afternoon. 

“A lot of folks have been involved to get us to this point,” Joyce said. “It’s great, it’s a really positive development and hopefully we can get it out and administer as many people as possible.”

While very few can see the future and what it can look like, Joyce said that the citizens of Stillwater can’t all expect to be guaranteed COVID-19 free until at least the middle of 2021. 

“From what I hear, I don’t expect that we would see much vaccine available here until late spring, early summer at the earliest,” Joyce said. “We’ll have to probably go through this next semester without having a widespread vaccine available.” 

Now, with the vaccines very close to controlling a pandemic that’s changed American history, Joyce said that people should not let their guards down just yet. 

“Where we are right now in the vaccine distribution doesn’t change anything about the additional measures that we’ve been taking and that we continue to take to reduce the spread of COVID,” Joyce said. “We don’t have anywhere near enough vaccines out there at this point to really affect our need to continue to take those steps.” 

In a news conference Monday, Gov. Kevin Stitt said that the public still needs to do their job to stop the spread. 

“I want to thank all Oklahomans who are continuing to take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Stitt said. “It’s critical that we all keep up our fight. It’s going to take several months to get this vaccine out to everyone but there is light at the end of the tunnel, so we gotta keep pushing hard.” 

Stitt is all on board to get the vaccine out to the public. 

He met with health officials, and Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt to discuss the plan for the state.

“As Governor, my job is to make sure that we have the resources and support to get this vaccine to Oklahomans as quickly and efficiently as possible,” Stitt said. 

Holt said that this is the start of a new fight. 

“Today begins a multi-month effort, and that effort commences in the midst of our worst plague to date,” Holt said. “Until then, we still have to manage these numbers on our own.” 

Holt was hopeful for the future, but also had doubts about what the public might perceive. 

“As excited as I am about the arrival of this day, I am cautious and concerned about irrational exuberance,” Holt said. “Just because you saw a nurse receive the vaccine on television does not mean that you received the vaccine.” “Don’t be the last soldier to die in the war where the peace treaty has already been signed.”

news.ed@ocolly.com