Northland’s Operation Safe vaccinating 6,600+ in 2 days to make up for cold cancellations

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NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo. — About 1,900 people are receiving the Moderna vaccine Thursday after their appointments were canceled last week because of bitter cold conditions.

Operation Safe faced some challenges in trying to get vaccinations back on schedule. This coalition of cities, health care institutions and employers in Clay County plans to immunize more than 6,600 people during the next two days to make up for all those cancellations last week.

Leaders in the operation said organizers have actually learned to use less resources to streamline the vaccination process. They’ve got it down to a well-oiled machine, getting more people their shots as efficiently as possible.

And as the vaccine supply continues to increase, organizers are confident they can match the surge.

“Next week, we plan on giving greater than 10,000 doses of vaccines,” Eva Karp, chief clinical and patient safety officer for the Cerner Corporation, said. “We can ramp up. Johnson & Johnson is actually a simpler vaccine to give. It’s is a single dose vaccine, but they are only going to have 3 or 4 million available. So we don’t see a broad distribution of that. It may go to different areas of the country.”

Many of the people receiving shots said they would have braved the single-digit temperatures last week to get their immunizations.

Karp says one man told her this was his fourth attempt and he’s finally getting it.

Appointments still fill up within hours of becoming available. With the governor expected to expand eligibility Thursday, Operation Safe stated it will make the vaccine available to whomever the state says qualifies.

“We will be able to ramp up as vaccines become more available,” Karp said.

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