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OCCHD and OKC Zoo partner for Covid-19 vaccine event

By Darla Shelden, City Sentinel Reporter —

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma City-County Health Department is partnering with the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden to encourage more residents to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

On Tuesday, Aug. 17 and Wednesday, Aug. 18, OCCHD will be at the OKC Zoo administering the COVID-19 vaccine from 8 a.m. to noon. The event will be held in the Rosser Conservation Education Center, located at the east end of the Zoo’s main parking lot. Attendees should park by and enter through the education center.

Anyone who gets vaccinated during that time frame will receive a voucher for free general Zoo admission.

The OKC Zoo is also extending its free admission offer to anyone who presents a full COVID-19 CDC vaccine card from 8 a.m. to noon on the event days. Guests must present their completed vaccination card at the Zoo’s ticket window to receive free admission.

One complimentary general admission is offered per vaccination card and the offer is only valid on Aug. 17 and Aug. 18, 2021. The Zoo is already offering free admission to all guests that make a reservation at okczoo.org/tickets the weeks of August 9-13 and 16-20, from noon until 4 p.m., so getting vaccinated or being vaccinated allows people to enter earlier.

“It will take all of us coming together to get on the other side of the pandemic, so we’re thrilled that our neighbors, the OKC Zoo, were willing to offer this opportunity,” said Dr. Patrick McGough, OCCHD CEO.

OCCHD will have all three vaccines available both days. Young people age 12 to 17 are only eligible for the Pfizer vaccine. A parent or legal guardian must be on site with the child, unless the minor brings a signed consent form. The consent forms are found at VaxOKC.com/forms or printed at a Metropolitan Library location.

People needing a second dose are welcomed to come fill their vaccination card as well and receive a voucher.  

“OCCHD is a fantastic neighbor and resource for our community at large, so we jumped at the opportunity to collaborate with them and host this vaccination event,” said Dwight Lawson, OKC Zoo’s executive director/CEO. “We’re hopeful Oklahomans will take advantage of this offer to get vaccinated and discover the Zoo, its wildlife, habitats and experiences as an added perk.”

OCCHD has received tremendous support from its Adventure District neighbors throughout vaccination administration.

In January, OCCHD administered more than 1,000 COVID-19 vaccines at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. Science Museum Oklahoma offered its space for vaccinations in March. Also, in March, OCCHD visited Remington Park to vaccinate jockeys and other equestrian staff before the quarter-horse racing season began.

To date, 57 percent of eligible Oklahoma County residents are fully vaccinated. Young people remain the most unvaccinated group, with 12-17-year-olds only 25 percent vaccinated and 18-24-year-olds only 37 percent fully vaccinated.

All OCCHD public health clinics offer the COVID-19 vaccine. Other vaccination opportunities can be found at VaxOKC.com.

Now in its summer hours, the Oklahoma City Zoo is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the last entry no later than 4 p.m. Purchase advance tickets at  www.okczoo.org/tickets and avoid the entry lines. A

The Zoo is offering free general admission for guests, weekday afternoons the weeks of August 9-13 and 16-20. Advance reservations are required at okczoo.org/tickets for all guests and ZOOfriends members wanting to visit, capacity is limited to six people per reservation.

Regular admission is $12 for adults and $9 for children ages 3-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free.

Zoo fans can support the OKC Zoo by becoming a ZOOfriends member. Starting at $45, memberships can be purchased at ZOOfriends.org and provide access to the OKC Zoo for an entire year plus, additional benefits and discounts.

To learn more about Zoo happenings, call 405-424-3344 or visit okczoo.org.

On Tuesday, Aug. 17 and Wednesday, Aug. 18, OCCHD will be at the OKC Zoo administering the COVID-19 vaccine from 8 a.m. to noon. The event will be held in the Rosser Conservation Education Center. Photo provided.