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Sedgwick County adds ‘mega site’ for COVID-19 vaccinations, church joining effort

Published: Mar. 10, 2021 at 6:07 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Sedgwick County will now be vaccinating people at additional “mega sites” in the county as efforts to administer more shots of COVID-19 vaccine ramp up with more doses available. In addition to the old Central Library location in downtown Wichita, vaccines will be given at the Sedgwick County Extension Office in the 7000 block of West 21st Street (near 21st and Ridge Road). There are also plans to add a Wichita church to the effort.

In conjunction with the State of Kansas, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday (March 11-13), the county will administer vaccine at Central Community Church on West Maple.

Starting next week (March 15), Sedgwick County will still use the old downtown library location on South Main, but on Mondays through Saturdays, will also begin vaccinations at the extension office. The county said more options for people to get vaccinated means that even more appointments can be scheduled.

“That will help us get through some of the vaccine that we’ve received,” Deputy Sedgwick County Manager Tim Kauffman said. “Some indicate that it’s a stockpile. It’s not. We’re just working through the process.”

Sedgwick County Commissioner Jim Howell touched on the importance of increasing capacity to administer more shots.

“Being able to increase capacity is a big part of this,” he said. “Right now, we’re doing around 2,200 vaccines a day. Starting next week, or even (Thursday), that that could be as high as 4,000 a day.”

The National Guard will help the county in its effort to distribute the vaccine. Sedgwick County soon expects to be vaccinating people in Phase 3 of the state’s vaccine rollout plan. This phase includes people who are younger than 65 and have underlying medical conditions. Howell said he was frustrated with the state that those in Phase 3 couldn’t be moved up.

Last week, Sedgwick County commissioners sent a letter to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, asking to add people with underlying medical conditions into Phase 2 of the vaccine rollout plan.

“The fact that they would say they would withhold allotment in Sedgwick County because we’re trying to (vaccinate) what we view as the most vulnerable in the community.”

Howell said the more people who get vaccinated, the better as it speeds up the time in which the county can begin to move away from current health orders.

“Sone one thing we’re looking at very, very closely is, what’s the risk of this population of our community?” he said. “As long as we have vaccine on the shelf and we can move that out to the population as quickly as possible, that helps us move away from these health orders.”

You can schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment in Sedgwick County through the county’s website.

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