Wyandotte County emphasizing first vaccine dose as plan for third booster comes out

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — U.S. health officials have announced plans to dispense third dose booster shots to all Americans as the delta variant tests the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.

The CDC said people should get the extra dose eight months after their second shot. The program could start as early as mid-September.

Third doses of vaccinations are already available to people who are immunocompromised. At the big vaccination site in Wyandotte County, run out of a former K-Mart, the Unified Government started offering those shots at this location.

In Wyandotte County, the vaccination rate is low at about 37%. So even with all the talk about third doses, trying to get people their first shot is still a big focus.

Jessica Holloway put off getting vaccinated until now with her mother at her side.

“I think we convinced each other. We got each other hyped up to do it,” Holloway said.

But the biggest motivation also comes from a third generation.

“She knows, whenever we go somewhere, ‘Mommy, you got my mask?'” Holloway said, describing her daughter, 3-year-old Ja’Leiya Wesley.

“I had picked her up from my mom’s house one evening and my mom told me that she had a cough,” Holloway said.

“I better go get this checked out because it became harsh. So I called her doctor and he sent me straight over to Children’s Mercy and I got her tested. And the next day they called me back with the results and told me she was positive,” Holloway said.

“I sat in the car and I cried,” Holloway said.

“No sleep for me. When she was resting I was up making sure she was okay and still breathing,” Holloway said.

Ja’Leiya would be OK but it intensified concern, also felt by community members who have been asking about a potential third round of vaccinations, a booster, since the spring.

“For actual traditional boosters we still have to get guidance from the FDA and the CDC and KDHE before we can actually roll those out. And I don’t know what the time period is for that booster dose, it will be months,” Brandi Dickerson, the K-mart site medical lead said.

The Unified Government also has new incentives for people getting their first dose that includes $5,000 and $10,000 raffles which will be drawn in October.

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