The Emporia Gazette

Governor Laura Kelly announced the final COVID-19 distribution order for population groups in Kansas, Thursday.

The vaccine will be administered in five phases, beginning with those most at risk of contracting or becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 and ending with all Kansans at large.

“These COVID-19 vaccination phase groups were created using guidance from national and state public health experts and with input from the Kansas Coronavirus Vaccine Advisory Council, or COVAC, which represents a diverse group of populations in Kansas,” Kelly said in a written release. “My priority remains providing every Kansan with updates and information on vaccine schedules as we get them and to get everyone vaccinated as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

The Kansas Coronavirus Advisory Council, representing a diverse group of Kansans statewide, is part of Governor Kelly’s commitment to maximizing benefits, minimizing harm, and striving for equity, justice, and fairness when it comes to when the vaccine will be made available to which Kansans.

The five phases of the order are as follows:

Phase 1:

Health care workers

Residents or patients in long-term care facilities and senior housing

Workers critical to pandemic response continuity

Phase 1 groups have already begun to receive vaccines.

Phase 2:

Persons aged 65 and older

High-contact critical workers necessary to maintain systems, assets, and activities that are vital to the state security, the economy or public health, or who interact with large numbers of contacts and job-related COVID-19 exposure. COVID-19 risk is associated with the likelihood of infecting oneself or spreading the virus. Factors that increase risk include proximity, type of contact, duration of contacts and challenges to implement protective measures. This includes:

Firefighters, police officers, first responders, and correction officers

Grocery store workers and food services

K-12 and childcare workers, including teachers, custodians, drivers, and other staff

Food processing, including meat processing plants

Large-scale aviation manufacturing plants

Transportation workers

Workers in retail, agriculture, supply of critical services or materials for COVID-19 response, the U.S. Postal Service, and Department of motor vehicles

Those living or working in licensed congregate settings and other special care or congregate environments where social distancing is not possible, including:

Homeless shelters

Congregate childcare institutions

Emergency shelters or safe houses

Corrections facilities

Behavioral health institutions

Phase 3:

Those aged 16-64 with serious medical conditions that increase the risk for severe illness from COVID-19, including:


Chronic kidney disease

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Down Syndrome

Heart conditions like cardiomyopathies

Immunocompromised state from solid organ transplant

Type 2 diabetes

Sickle cell disease

Pregnant patients

Other non-health care workers in critical infrastructure who cannot work remotely, including:

Agricultural and food workers not included in previous phases

Workers performing in-person activities indoors, in critical manufacturing, not included in previous phases. This includes aviation and production of critical supplies for the COVID response

Utility workers

Social service and government workers not included in previous phases

Logistics workers, such as truck transportation workers, couriers and others

Water and wastewater workers

Shelter and housing workers, finance workers

Information technology and communications workers

Phase 4:

Those aged 16-64 with other medical conditions that increase the risk for severe illness from COVID-19 such as:


Cerebrovascular disease

Cystic Fibrosis

Immunocompromised state from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, or use of immune weakening medicines

Neurologic conditions such as dementia

Liver disease

Pulmonary fibrosis

Type 1 diabetes

Obesity and severe obesity

Phase 5:

The rest of the population 16 and older

Potentially children, dependent upon further research on the effectiveness and risks associated with vaccinating kids

(8) comments


Ration1, I should have also said, ‘Thank you’ for being a thoughtful, caring person. Your family is blessed to have you.


Thank you, horse sense.


Ration1, Your logic would only work IF you could force every, even the majority, of anti-masker and anti-vaccine people to get vaccinated. COVID itself has taught us all - that will never happen.

Here’s a thought on vaccinating anti-maskers. Periodically, there is an outbreak of rabies in the skunks in the county. Prudent pet/animal owners in that area check their animal’s rabies vaccinations to make sure their vaccinations are current. They don’t go scouring the creek to find skunks to vaccinate.

Wyatt's Ghost

To all of you who were parroting screeches about COVID-19 being a hoax, Dem plot, no worse than the common flu, etc. etc. earlier in the year should be at the back of the line. Right before all of the smirking punks who still refuse to wear a mask in public places and those who think they are faking wearing a mask by not covering their blowholes above their mouth. Why these threatening imbeciles are even allowed in businesses proves businesses are irresponsible about and do not care about public health.

Republicans are directly responsible for the unleashed pandemic sweeping across the nation by their constant demands to defund and drown government in a bathtub policies to purposely mocking, evading, and laughing away protection for the United States. You Republican voters directly chose COVID-19 wreaking havoc on the nation. This is what happens when you cripple the government and refuse to actually govern instead of staying lost down rabbit holes, fixated on magical thinking, and having a ‘herd mentality’ instead of relying on science and fact.


On the contrary, Wyatt, I support that people be vaccinated on the schedule according to their vulnerability. If anything, I suggest these folks are demonstrating mental infirmity which make them more vulnerable. Certainly their refusal to wear masks makes them more dangerous as potential spreaders, and on that basis alone I would support advancing anti-maskers to the front of the line.


I can’t disagree that anti-maskers are mentally infirmed. But suggesting we reward behavior that has endangered or possibly killed others and placed unimaginable stresses on our medical community is not sound reasoning. Generations of parents doing as you suggest and placating their children by placing them at the front of the line when not warranted has created a society of whiny, self-centered adults. Anti-maskers have proclaimed they aren’t afraid of COVID. Let them wait.


Suggesting that people who pose a public health threat to you, me, and immuno-compromised people we find dear should be put at the back of the line and endanger all of us even further is even less sound reasoning. The vaccine is not a reward for good behavior. The vaccine is a way to mitigate the threat of the virus. Let's use it so that those who are most vulnerable and most liable to spread the virus around (i.e., essential workers and those with physical or mental conditions that increase their risk) are inoculated. I've been wearing masks and running only essential errands for damned near a year. I can continue my behavior a little longer to reduce the risk to my late-80s parents and late-60s older siblings from these anti-maskers who will continue to insist on exposing themselves and others until either they die or they receive the vaccine.

Put'em at the front of the line.

Wyatt's Ghost

Well now if we had reasonable and functional government instead of radical republicanism to make sure government cannot function to address actual needs, anti-maskers would find themselves in jail until they complied with not being a threat and danger to those around them in public places. So they would hit their vaccine lottery by being in a correctional facility where they would have plenty of time to reassess the danger.

Since you want anti-maskers vaccinated first, have you considered that they will probably completely reject getting a vaccine based on the same delusional beliefs that they have a right to do whatever they want regardless of others rights? So that brings us back to the original problem of Lyon County and Emporia governments and businesses allowing anti-mask imbeciles to willfully threaten and endanger others while becoming a bigger contributor to the pandemic. At some point you have to demand that people just grow up and conduct themselves appropriately in public. By giving them excuses to behave like they are, you are only encouraging them to continue behaving as a bigger threat and danger to others and the most endangered. You do see how rewarding bad behavior only creates more problems for those that are responsible for their actions?

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