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Sedgwick County running low on COVID-19 vaccine

Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 4:48 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Sedgwick County said Tuesday it is running low on the COVID-19 vaccine. Deputy County Manager Tim Kauffman gave an update on the county’s vaccine status during the county staff meeting. He said Sedgwick County has provided 7,780 vaccine doses to healthcare-associated workers since December 23, 2020. That leaves the county with 2,090 doses and 984 appointments scheduled through the rest of the week.

Kaufman said the county has struggled to maintain consistent communication with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KHDE). The hope is to have more of the vaccine by next week. Kaufman said the county has not received a vaccine shipment since December 22, 2020.

Sedgwick County’s vaccine shortage comes as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced early Tuesday that states should move to Phase 2 of vaccine distribution. The federal government said people ages 65 and older and the immunocompromised should now be eligible to get vaccinated. First responders, teachers and high contact critical workers are also included in this group.

Sedgwick County Health Director Adrienne Byrne said there is no concrete date on when the county will get more vaccines. She said it cannot move to the next phase until this happens.

“Can we move into Phase 2 more quickly than the end of the month is what I’m hoping is that we can do. That we can move right on to 65 and older, right on to teachers. We already have been talking with at least Wichita and Derby about them having the vaccine and vaccinating their teachers and staff,” said Byrne.

County said officials said they should know by Thursday when it will receive its next resupply for the vaccination clinic at INTRUST Bank Arena. Kaufman said healthcare workers in the community are still encouraged to make an appointment to receive the vaccine.

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