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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Wyandotte County now is vaccinating anyone 16 and older, as Kansas moves into the final phase of COVID-19 immunizations.

Public health officials said barriers to the clinics needed to be removed to encourage more people to get the vaccine.

Anyone living in Wyandotte County 16 or older can walk in without an appointment at the National Guard Armory at South 20th Street and Ridge Avenue, the former K-Mart store at 78th Street and State Avenue, or the former Best Buy location across from the Legends on Parallel Parkway.

Minors 16 and 17 years old must be accompanied by a parent or guardian with identification. The teens must be able to verify their age.

Those minors will receive the Pfizer vaccine, the only one approved right now for that age group.

Wyandotte County has one of the three lowest rates of vaccination in Kansas, so it’s hoped that opening the clinics to all county residents will greatly boost that.

“We think that having the previous restrictions on who could come in, sometimes was a little confusing. People did not know if they were eligible or not, or did not know how to access it,” said Jannell Friesen of the Unified Government’s health department. “Now it’s opened up more broadly and you have the option of with an appointment or without an appointment.”

Walk-ins are accepted until 2:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, because the clinic closes at 3 p.m. each weekday.

The Unified Government is providing transportation for those who need help to get to one of the clinics.

The armory has been inoculating up to 600 people a day, but vaccinators could be a lot busier if more residents would come to get immunized.