Local nonprofit scrambles to give out dozens of COVID-19 doses after canceled event

Tracking Coronavirus

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Low turnout at COVID-19 vaccine clinics and a canceled event have put a local nonprofit in a race against time. Organizers are now on the clock to get vaccines into arms before having to throw doses in the trash. 

Heart to Heart International has about 100 extra vaccine doses to divvy out in less than two weeks, or they go to waste. 

But thankfully, it looks like they won’t have to go to waste thanks to quick action and community support.

Hy-Vee Arena stepped up to supply the space for an impromptu vaccine clinic. Now Heart to Heart needs the people eager to be vaccinated to show up. 

Anyone 18 and older can register to get the shot. The clinic from 3-6 p.m. April 26 at HyVee Arena.

“We have as many vaccines as people need, really. It’s just matter of getting the community, getting the word out to the community and getting them to feel comfortable with having that vaccination,” Heart to Heart Event Site Coordinator Celeste Lupercio said. 

Heart to Heart is also looking for businesses and organizations to supply the people who want to get vaccinated. 

“Usually when I walk into a space, I want two different entrances,” Lupercio said. 

Lupercio looks for locations to hold community vaccination events for Heart to Heart. The Hub in Kansas City, Kansas is one of four places she toured Tuesday for a future clinic.

“This is exactly what we’re looking for,” Lupercio said. 

This week was more about finding a business that could help get needles into arms fast after a canceled event left them with a bout 100 extra doses of the Moderna shot. 

“We definitely have about 50-100 vaccines that we are going to have to toss if we can’t find a place to give those out,” she said.

Lupercio said part of the problem is vaccine hesitancy.

Hub Director Carter Ellis has seen it firsthand in her community. She believes partnering with Heart to Heart for a smaller scale event could help ease that fear. 

“I think being in a smaller setting and maybe even in a setting that they’ve already been in before just kind of removes some of those barriers to why people might be hesitant,” Ellis said.

If you’re part of a business or organization that’s interested in partnering with Heart to Heart for a vaccine clinic, you can fill out this survey.

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