KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With all the news about vaccines headed to the metro you may be wondering — ‘how do I get one?’
A lot of people are calling metro doctors’ offices with the same question. Unfortunately, the answer is you may have to wait. However, once the vaccine starts arriving there will be new shipments each week.
For some it’s more sought after than anything, and for others you can’t convince them to take it.
Experts say it really depends how many doses they get in each shipment to know when they will be available. If you are a frontline worker or live in a nursing home, you will get the vaccine first.
Dr. Catherine Satterwhite, the regional health administrator of the US Department of Health and Human services says sites that can safely store the vaccine will be the source for how people get them.
“Those sites are going to work with partners in their areas to vaccinate what we’re calling the first phase of eligible population. We know from the advisory committee from immunization practices that’s going to be healthcare workers with direct patient care, and residents of nursing homes,” Satterwhite said.
Hazen Short, MD a doctor at Kansas City Direct Primary care says it’s the number one topic on his patients minds.
“It comes up in conversation frequently. Already today, I’ve talked with a couple different patients about the Pfizer vaccine specifically, because that’s the one in the news right now,” Short said.
Doctor Short says once vaccines are available to the public his office will refer patients out to larger facilities that are storing the vaccine. Nancy Tausz, the health services director for the Johnson County Health Department says the roll out will take time, and they will make it widely known when it’s available.
“The virus is still out there. And there’s lots of cases so just be continue to be vigilant in your awareness of infecting other people and just saying safe yourself,” Tausz said.
“You will know. There will be media outreach. Your provider will be informed. I think we can already see the world is being flooded with vaccine information, but it will get more specific, and you will have visibility of who is eligible to get the vaccine when,” Satterwhite said.
Experts believe optimistically the vaccines could be available to the public by spring or summer.
“I’m telling patients, I don’t think it’s realistic to expect a vaccine for the general public until the summer, late spring, early summer is what I’ve been hearing from the experts,” Dr. Short said.
Doctor Short says the best thing you can do in the meantime is to continue masking and social distancing.