KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Vaccinations are increasing in Kansas.
Thousands more can get their COVID-19 shot starting Monday. Phases 3 and 4 combined will allow people in public professions or with chronic illnesses to enroll, and much is being done to simplify the process.
Volunteers have kept hundreds busy moving safely through Wyandotte County’s three vaccination clinics.
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After the funerals of many COVID victims, undertaker Lindsay Jones and his wife were grateful to finally have protection from the virus.
“They don’t want to be a source of harm to others so it gives us a sense of comfort,” said Jones.
Wyandotte County is now opening its clinics to residents 65 and over for walk-in vaccines. On Monday, appointment slots will open for those in phases 3 and 4 of Kansas.
“It’s really great to see people line up to get vaccinated, to understand that we have so much data that it is safe and effective, and to get vaccinated, and that vaccinations are the way to get.” to get out of this pandemic, “said Dr. Allen Greiner, Chief Medical Officer of the Unified Government Public Health Department.
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But for many, it has proven next to impossible to make an appointment to get the shot.
“The vaccine won’t find you. You have to find it, ”said Rebecca Austin.
Austin’s 84-year-old aunt Bev struggled to get her shot until she stepped in to help.
“It broke my heart that my aunt didn’t have access to technology this way to monitor news feeds, tweets, and Facebook pages, and it was insane,” she said.
Austin burst into tears when Bev and her 95-year-old neighbor were finally vaccinated. She now masters vaccine spotter sites and searches the internet booking recordings for complete strangers. So far she has helped at least 40 people and wants to do more.
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“I feel like every seat I occupy is one step closer to normal for all of us,” said Austin.
The state is confident it will move through those eligible in phases 3 and 4 combined, and any Kansans who want a shot can get one by May 1st. A large increase in supply will help make it easier to find elusive dates.
“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine coming to market is really a game changer. We received about 23,000 doses about a week ago, and we expect to be getting maybe 100,000 doses in the coming weeks and regular doses thereafter, ”said Dr. Marci Nielsen, COVID coordinator for Governor Laura Kelly.
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Wyandotte County has now vaccinated more than 25,000 people. This is the highest throughput in the state. As soon as the residents of the district have moved through, the clinic locations could be opened to all Kansans in the coming weeks.
If you need help getting a shot, Rebeca Austin is free to help. You can reach them at 913-228-2739 or by email at KCVaxU@gmail.com.
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