LEE’s SUMMIT, Mo. — The Kansas City metro has reached the 500,000 vaccinated mark.
That means roughly a quarter of all people in the nation’s 31st largest metropolitan area are fully vaccinated, but many who still refuse the shot remain.
Encouraging numbers are growing, thanks to mass vaccinations like the one held at Lee’s Summit’s Legacy Park on Wednesday.
Cars lined up for another drive-up COVID-19 vaccination opportunity, during which, Jackson County Health officials hoped to vaccinate another 2,200.
Most of the patients at Wednesday’s event were there to receive their second shot of the Pfizer vaccine.
The Mid-America Regional Council’s website celebrated the 500,000 milestone on Tuesday.
Mark Logan, a spokesperson for Two Million Arms KC, represents a nonprofit that hopes to encourage two million Kansas Citians to get the vaccine. Logan said the 500,000 accomplishment proves progress is being made, and mass vaccination gatherings may begin to transform.
“In order to reach population immunity, we have to get 80 to 90 percent of folks in our region vaccinated,” Logan said. “The efforts to get folks vaccinated are going to be at a smaller scale. I think you’re going to see fewer of these mass vaccination events and more community driven events.”
Logan said the only way Kansas City will reach “Two Million Arms” is to convert the non-believers.
Vaccination of 500,000 is great, but he points out there are still around a million and a half who haven’t gotten their shots.
“When we talk to those folks, we have to listen respectfully. There are also some unfounded sources of concern. There’s a lot of rumor and misinformation. I think we have to treat those two sources of concern and questions differently,” Logan added.
People behind Wednesday’s drive-up service in Lee’s Summit will return to Legacy Park on Thursday from 12-8 p.m.
Dan Manley, Lee’s Summit Fire Department Assistant Chief, agreed with Logan’s assessment of drive-up vaccine distribution.
“As we see a transition from the demand being greater than the supply to our supply exceeding demand, we have to have a tool kit that will allow us to be able to respond to those differences,” Manley said.
Manley said he’s encouraged by federal plans to include children aged 12-15 in vaccination plans in the coming days. Logan said he’s happy that will push Kansas City closer to the two million mark.
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