COVID vaccine to be available to all Kansans 16 and older starting Monday
photo by: Lauren Fox
Updated at 4 p.m. Friday
TOPEKA – Gov. Laura Kelly announced Friday that starting on Monday, Kansas will make the COVID-19 vaccine available to all Kansans 16 years older, as the state enters the final Phase 5 of the Vaccine Prioritization plan.
“With the anticipated increase in supply from the federal government, we must get every dose of vaccine into arms quickly,” Kelly said in a news release Friday. “I strongly encourage every Kansan to get the COVID-19 vaccine so we can get back to school, back to work, and back to normal.”
Kansas will become the eighth state to make the vaccine available to all adults, joining Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Utah and West Virginia. As of Friday, 35.1% of the adult population in Kansas had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the news release said.
Kansans are encouraged to use the Vaccine Finder tool to find the nearest location with available vaccine.
According to the news release, local health departments have started reporting a decline in demand despite the state opening up Phases 3 and 4. Kelly’s administration decided to open eligibility to all Kansans to ensure no vaccine goes to waste.
That was not the case, however, in Douglas County. Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health spokesperson George Diepenbrock said the county has seen an increase in demand since it opened up Phases 3 and 4. Additionally, Diepenbrock said about 2,000 people who qualify for Phase 2 just filled out the county vaccine interest form in the past week.
Friday afternoon, Douglas County Unified Command leaders decided to prioritize those in Phases 1-4 for the next two weeks, Diepenbrock said. Leaders will then reevaluate progress on Phases 3-4 the week of April 12 to determine allocations for Phase 5.
“People with medical conditions that make them particularly vulnerable to complications and death due to COVID-19 have been patiently waiting for their turn to get vaccinated, and we want the opportunity to make progress with this group of individuals,” Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health Director Dan Partridge said.
Diepenbrock said 2,331 people in Phase 2 and more than 11,000 people in Phases 3-4 have filled out the vaccine interest form and have not yet received their first dose. The county expects to receive an increase in allocation from the state next week in the amount of 4,680 vaccine doses.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines are recommended for those 18 and older. The Pfizer vaccine is recommended for those 16 and older.