Kansas anticipates moving to vaccination Phase 3 by next month

Tracking Coronavirus

Dr. Lee Norman, head of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, answers questions about the COVID-19 pandemic during a news conference, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Norman says he’s encouraged by data showing that hospitals have been under less stress recently from the pandemic. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The state of Kansas says it’s now counting the weeks until it will begin vaccinating people who qualify under Phase 3.

Phase 3 in Kansas will include:

  • People 16-64 with high-risk medical conditions
  • Other critical workers
  • Everyone who qualifies in Phases 1 and 2

Dr. Lee Norman said he expected the state to move to its next vaccination Phase in “maybe 4 weeks, maybe a little less.” He made the comment during a Facebook Live with doctors from the University of Kansas Health System Tuesday morning.

When asked why Missouri would move to it’s next phase Monday and Kansas isn’t ready to advance, Norman said the two states have different plans for vaccinating people.

“We’ve also done things differently than Missouri in terms of we are already done with our teachers and school staff, for the most part. There’s a few second doses that need to go into people yet this month.”

He also pointed out that Kansas is currently working to vaccinate people working at dozens of plants across the state.

“We’ve got about 60 meat packing plants and related industries and those people who work in those plants. not only are they critical infrastructure, but they’re at much higher risk and have had a big illness and death toll, so we’ve moved those infrastructure people up,” Norman said.

The plan is to keep all Kansas counties in the same Phase until everyone is vaccinated. Norman said that plan will continue for the foreseeable future.

“We are in Phase 2 which is by far the largest phase in Kansas, about a million people,” Norman said. “Some of the counties are actually through Phase 2. Those are some of the smaller counties. They are therefore on pause, as we call it, for receiving additional vaccine allocation so we can reallocate it to the counties that are still in Phase 2.”

For now people in the following categories are able to be vaccinated in the state:

  • Kansas Phase 1
    • Healthcare workers
    • Residents or patients in Long‐term care, senior housing or LTC‐supported independent living
    • Workers critical to pandemic response continuity
  • Kansas Phase 2
    • Persons Aged 65+
    • Congregate settings
    • High‐contact critical workers
    • All unvaccinated persons prioritized in previous phases

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