Study: Vaccines helped reduce COVID-19 deaths in Oklahoma

October 5, 2021 GMT

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Coronavirus vaccinations have helped reduce COVID-19 infections by 7,500 and deaths by 1,100 among Oklahomans aged 65 and older, according to a study released Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The study of Medicare recipients found that as vaccinations increased from January, when the vaccines became more widely available, through May, each 10% increase in vaccination rates resulted in an 11-12% decline in weekly COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths among Medicare beneficiaries.

In its weekly report on Sept. 29, 91.1% of Oklahomans 65 or older had received at least one vaccination and 79.8% were fully vaccinated, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

The three-day average of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 on Tuesday stood at 825, the health department reported. The average on Monday fell below 1,000 daily for the first time since mid-August.

In other developments, the Yukon School District announced Monday that it will provide its full-time employees with $1,000 stipends from funds it received from the federal coronavirus relief package.

The district’s board voted for the stipends Monday night and for prorated stipends for part-time employees.

Employees must have started working at the school by Oct. 1 to receive the stipend, according to the district.