OLATHE, Kan. — The Johnson County Health Department said Monday that thousands of people need to be vaccinated before we will see the benefits of herd immunity.
Health experts in the Kansas City metro continue to push for everyone to get a vaccination as soon as possible, yet appointments continue to go unfilled.
Johnson County is now planning to shift its approach from mass vaccination sites to community clinics.
“These are going to be smaller clinics that we are going to be in the community,” Dr. Sanmi Areola, Director of the Johnson County Health Department, said. “We are looking at different programs in the community.”
The community clinics may end up at a farmers’ markets, popular festivals, or even churches. The goal is to find a large gathering of people who haven’t been vaccinated yet.
“I think we’ve moved on from this phase where people are really excited to get the vaccine and they’re gonna make that appointment as soon as it’s available,” said Elizabeth Holzschuh, Epidemiologist for the Johnson County Health Department. “Now we’re in sort of a group where maybe it’s not that they’re against the vaccine or even hesitant, it’s just, they don’t have the opportunity, they haven’t stepped out of their way to go find the vaccine.
Johnson County plans to add a form to its website. The county wants businesses or organizers of large events to fill out the form and request Johnson County come vaccinate people. Filling out the form isn’t a guarantee, but it will let the health department know of your interest.
The health department will also add a tab to its dashboard that will let you track the vaccination progress in the county.
“We’re trying to make it as easy as we possibly can,” Areola said.
Johnson County’s mass vaccination site at 15500 W. 108th St. in Lenexa is expected to remain open through at least the end of May, but hours may change.
Walk-in appointments are available:
- Tuesdays, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
- Wednesdays, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
- Saturday, May 15, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
- Saturday, May 22, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
There are other walk-in appointments available across the metro, if this location isn’t convenient for you.