The Emporia Gazette
According to Lyon County Public Health, around 37% of the county’s population had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of last week. That number is consistent with the 38% percent of Kansans who have received at least one dose, the Associated Press reports.
But vaccination rates vary widely from county to county.
Statistics on the vaccination campaign show some communities making good progress distributing the shots while other, often rural areas, lag behind. In Kansas, a 26-percentage point gap exists between the county with the highest vaccination rate and the lowest.
The disparity could lead to islands of places where new infections are limited because of vaccinations next to places that continue to see hospitalizations linked to the virus, The Kansas City Star reports.
“The higher vaccinated counties will have less disease and less impact,” said Lee Norman, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
Alan Morgan, CEO of the National Rural Health Association, said there could be lingering problems if rural and urban areas aren’t vaccinated at the same rates.
“We’re a mobile society, and if you have adjacent rural towns and rural communities not vaccinated, you’re still allowing this pandemic to continue into the future,” Morgan said.
Health officials are turning their attention to smaller clinics and more personal approaches to help reach people who are hesitant to get the vaccine.
“We want to make sure we reach all people in all counties and there’s still a lot of work to be done,” Norman said.
In Lyon County, vaccination efforts continue as LCPH reported five new cases of COVID-19 and six new recoveries on Monday, bringing the number of active cases to 28. That is a significant increase in the last few weeks, as on April 18 the total number of active cases was just 13.
The Lyon County Commission lifted its mask mandate on April 22.
In total, there have been 4,244 cases of COVID-19 in Lyon County, with 4,132 of those resulting in recoveries and 84 resulting in death. One death is currently awaiting certification by KDHE.