Local health departments see strong interest, even a ‘big boom,’ in teen COVID vaccinations

Tracking Coronavirus

OLATHE, Kan. — There’s been a growing demand for COVID-19 vaccinations among teenagers since those ages 12-15 are now eligible for the shot.

The Johnson County Health Department described the increase as a “big boom.”

“It’s been very exciting to see families understand the importance of vaccinations for their children,” said Elizabeth Holzschuh, Johnson County epidemiologist.

Leaders with the Johnson County Health Department said there were ready for the challenge, including bringing in more staff to the vaccination clinics to meet the demand of young people getting the shot.

The county said they have vaccinated 2,280 kids as of May 19, and they expect to see that number grow.

The Jackson County Health Department said it noticed the same trend starting out, but vaccination rates in youth have since fallen in the county. Leaders with the department said there’s no reason for concern just yet.

“I would say we are cautiously optimistic. We are certainly seeing that continued interest, [but] once we overcame that rush, the surge diminished,” Assistant Director Ray Dlugolecki said.

Both Johnson and Jackson counties’ health leaders said, regardless of the trends, they hope kids continue to ask their parents to get the vaccine and help in the fight against COVID-19.

“Whatever it is, we are going to keep riding it as long as possible because we want to get as many shots as we can,” Holzschuh said.

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