Race to End COVID event at Kansas Speedway doesn’t quite pull desired results

Tracking Coronavirus

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The push for COVID-19 vaccinations continues, but a recent Wyandotte County event has health leaders reconsidering their tactics.

This weekend, Wyandotte County offered free laps around Kansas Speedway’s oval for anyone who got vaccinated against or tested for COVID-19. But the Race to End COVID event didn’t add up to the number they’d hoped for.

“No matter what the number turns out to be, you always wish it would be higher,” said Brian Koelliker, Unified Government’s vaccine mobile operations supervisor.

People rolled up their sleeves in Wyandotte County to take their own car for a free trip around the racetrack. Crews tested 240 people for COVID-19. They gave out only 124 vaccines. 

“It’s 125 people that weren’t vaccinated on Thursday,” Koelliker said.

Despite these efforts, Wyandotte County is still far away from reaching the national goal of 70% of the population vaccinated. Data from last week shows only 33% of the county’s population has received one dose so far, while only 28% have been fully vaccinated. 

Compare that to Johnson County, where 45% are fully vaccinated. Overall, 43% of people who live in Kansas have one dose and 36% are fully vaccinated. 

Right now, the state has more than half a million doses sitting in cold storage, waiting to be used. 

“I think we’re at a point now where we’re just happy with whatever population, whatever number we can get at an event, which is why we pivoted to a lot of these mobile partnerships throughout the community to get more people vaccinated” Koelliker said.

The Unified Government visits local businesses, vaccinating employees and families on site. 

This week, they’re offering four public vaccination events at four high schools. The vaccination event on Monday is from 5-8 p.m. at Schlagle High School.

On Saturday, they will also be inside Children’s Mercy Park offering the shot to people with tickets to the Sporting KC Game.  

“Trying to capture and find the people where they are and take the vaccine to them,” Koelliker said.

If you are hoping to get a COVID-19 vaccine, walk-in appointments are also available through retail pharmacies, hospitals and county health departments.

Organizations and businesses can also request the UG’s Mobile Vaccine Team to do vaccinations on-site by filling out the Mobile Vaccine Request form, or by calling 3-1-1

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