KANSAS CITY, Kan. — As seniors in other parts of the nation begin to receive their first COVID-19 shots, public health agencies in the metro area are still struggling to vaccinate all healthcare workers.
Kansas continues to limit distribution of the immunizations to healthcare providers.
Nearly all community health workers in Wyandotte County have received their first doses, according to public health director Dr. Allen Greiner. But Johnson County has lagged behind, having identified about 25,000 healthcare workers for the first round.
The issue has been vaccine supplies.
Kansas is one of nine states that’s asked the federal government to release millions of available shots that were being held back. Those additional doses are now on the way.
“The truth is we have clinics set up. We are ready to go,” said Dr. Steven Stites, chief medical officer at the University of Kansas Hospital. “We could be doing thousands of people a day. We could do 2,000 a day in the health system. We have to get the vaccine here.”
Wyandotte County hopes to vaccinate an additional 2,000 seniors a day at a former K-Mart store, located at 78th and State avenues, once Kansas health officials approve.
Right now the state has been saying all counties need to finish vaccinating healthcare workers before Kansas can move to others.
Kansas has been focusing on pushing the vaccine out to small rural hospitals.
Doctors at the University of Kansas Health System say within weeks others in the community will start getting their shots.