The Emporia Gazette
Lyon County Public Health announced Wednesday that the county will be moving into Phase 2 of the State of Kansas’s Vaccine Prioritization Plan.
While the COVID-19 vaccine is still in limited supply, health officials said availability is “expanding to those in high-risk groups of having a severe illness or spreading the disease.”
Vaccines are now available for those populations included in Phase 1 and persons aged 65 and older.
The Flint Hills Community Health Center and Lyon County Public Health will host a mass vaccination clinic from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22 at the Bowyer Community Building at the Lyon County Fairgrounds.
Only those in Phase 1 or who are 65 and older are eligible to be vaccinated at this time.
Vaccine doses are limited and people wanting to be immunized must schedule an appointment to be vaccinated.
Spots had already filled up by Friday evening, but those who are unable to schedule an appointment for Friday’s clinic will have more opportunities.
FHCHC and Lyon County Public Health will continue to host mass vaccination clinics in the future as more vaccine is made available to Lyon County.
To see the eligibility of those included in Phase 1, please visit https://www.kansasvaccine.gov/157/Availability.
Additional information can be found at www.publichealth.lyoncounty.org.
The top health official in Kansas has told lawmakers that the state will likely see a small uptick in immediate supply of the COVID-19 vaccine with the change in presidential administrations.
In a joint hearing Tuesday before Senate and House health panels, Dr. Lee Norman, head of the state health department, said he has been told the state will probably get a 1% or 2% increase in its vaccine supply in the short run.
“The shortages are going to be something we are going to have to live with,” Norman said.
The federal government allocates vaccines to states based on population. Kansas, with its population of 3 million, receives 1% of the nation’s allocated vaccines, he said, adding that the state has at times been shorted as much as half of its anticipated supply.
The state’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout prioritizes health care workers and nursing homes in its first phase, which is almost complete. About a third of the state’s population will be covered in the second phase, which covers people ages 65 and older, those in congregate settings such as prisons and high-contact critical workers.
“The problem is there is not enough (vaccine) — and that has been the thing we have not been able to slay yet,” Norman told lawmakers.
Norman also questioned whether it makes sense to open more vaccination sites if there is not enough vaccine being supplied.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported Wednesday that 111,905 people, or about 3.8% of the state’s population, have received the COVID-19 vaccine to date. Kansas has received about 202,225 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines so far and administered at least 129,349, including 17,712 second doses, according to the agency’s website.
Norman told lawmakers that the state has been administering about 60% of the vaccine it receives, far above the 39% average for the nation.
Kansas counties do not have to move “in lockstep” into phase two, and can do so once everyone in the first phase who wants the vaccine has received it, Norman told the joint panel.
Lyon County added 62 new positives for COVID-19 and 53 recoveries, Wednesday, bringing the number of active cases to 154.
One new death was reported, with three deaths pending review at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
Overall, 3,727 cases have been reported in the county since March, including 3,506 recoveries and 68 deaths.
Kansas health officials also added another 3,590 COVID-19 cases from Monday to Wednesday, pushing the tally in the state to 263,412 since since the start of the pandemic. It reported 50 more coronavirus-related deaths since Monday, bringing the state’s death toll to at least 3,575.