Johnson County opens clinics for those needing COVID-19 vaccine boosters, no wait necessary

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MISSION, Kan. — Johnson County opened its clinics Tuesday to individuals with qualifying conditions seeking a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

One thing people noticed throughout the day: no lines.

The rollout has been very orderly as more places, including pharmacies and supermarkets, also have the ability to administer doses to people with a variety of severe-to-moderate underlying health issues.

Her bracelet said vaccinated, and as an immunocompromised individual, Megan Blake of Lenexa said the bracelet is now triple accurate.

“The first thing I said was, ‘Have you done this before? Have you given a third dose?'” Blake said of her experience getting the latest round.

“And they’re like, ‘We’ve only given four.’ And that was at a pretty big Walgreens here in the area,” Blake said.

Her qualifying condition is rheumatoid arthritis. Even with her latest dose, it hasn’t calmed her anxiety surrounding COVID-19.

“I’m still definitely nervous, but even with the vaccination, that’s not going to help if not everybody’s vaccinated. That’s the issue,” Blake said.

“I always feel weird when I’m walking around in the store with my mask on and no one else is, but the issue with the delta variant is it doesn’t really care, your age, where the last variant, unless you were immunocompromised severely. It was mainly older people who were getting it,” Blake said.

Charlie Hunt, deputy director for Johnson County’s health department, said the third dose is now “part of the schedule” for immunocompromised people.

“It’s not a booster. It’s a third dose for those individuals,” Hunt said.

He also does not expect the springtime stress of locating a vaccination to return.

“It’s hard to predict what it would be like, but the vaccine supply is very different now compared to the beginning stages when the vaccine was rolled out. So now I think it would be a matter of logistics and scheduling rather than vaccine supply,” Hunt said.

Blake said she compares the feeling of side effects to what she felt after her second dose of the Moderna vaccine. She feels fine now except for a fading soreness in her arm.

“And I had to pick up a prescription last night at the same pharmacy, and she was like, ‘We still haven’t had anyone after you,'” Blake said.

She also worries about some important social plans in the near future.

“We have our wedding coming up here in a few weeks, and so I knew I just wanted that immunity before that,” Blake said.

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