Kansas to enter Phase 2 of vaccine rollout Thursday, making people 65+ and more eligible

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TOPEKA, Kan. — Gov. Laura Kelly plans to announce Thursday that Kansas is moving to Phase 2 of its COVID-19 vaccination plan.

That means people 65 and older, those in certain congregate settings and high-contact critical workers will be eligible for the vaccine.

The governor stressed that approximately 1 million Kansans are included in Phase 2, but next week’s supply of vaccines from the federal government only contains about 45,000 first doses. Not everyone in Phase 2 will be able to receive their COVID-19 vaccine immediately, Kelly said in a statement.

Each county’s health department will get to decide how their supply of doses will be allocated to these Phase 2 groups and any remaining Phase 1 residents.

“After moving quickly to vaccinate close to 130,000 frontline health care workers and Kansas seniors, my administration has worked with local health departments and providers to prepare to move Kansas into Phase 2,” Kelly said. 

“While it’s important to remember that the rate of vaccinations will be dependent on the amount we receive from the federal government, we use every tool available to make vaccine delivery transparent, efficient, and fast in order to reach as many Kansans as possible.”

Here’s a better breakdown of who falls under Phase 2:

  • Persons aged 65 and older
  • High-contact critical workers necessary to maintain systems, assets, and activities that are vital to the state security, the economy or public health, or who interact with large numbers of contacts and job-related COVID-19 exposure. COVID-19 risk is associated with the likelihood of infecting oneself or spreading the virus. Factors that increase risk include proximity, type of contact, duration of contacts and challenges to implement protective measures. This includes:    
    • Firefighters, police officers, first responders, and correction officers     
    • Grocery store workers and food services     
    • K-12 and childcare workers, including teachers, custodians, drivers and other staff     
    • Food processing, including meat processing plants     
    • Large-scale aviation manufacturing plants     
    • Transportation workers     
    •  Workers in retail, agriculture, supply of critical services or materials for COVID-19 response, the U.S. Postal Service, and Department of motor vehicles
  • Those living or working in licensed congregate settings and other special care or congregate environments where social distancing is not possible, including:
    •  Homeless shelters     
    •  Congregate childcare institutions     
    •  Emergency shelters or safe houses     
    • Corrections facilities     
    • Behavioral health institutions

The state has also created a vaccine dashboard that includes key metrics and will be updated three times a week. In the coming weeks, Kansas officials also plan to launch a “Find My Vaccine” mapping tool to locate sites offering vaccine services.

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