Health officials: Rural Kansans split so far on getting COVID-19 vaccine

Rural communities split on COVID-19 vaccinations
Published: Dec. 10, 2020 at 6:01 PM CST
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SALINA, Kan. (KWCH) - Some rural Kansas counties that have seen the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic are now standing by for further information about the vaccine to fight against the virus.

Norton County Hospital Community Relations Director Katie Allen Wagner said her community so far is among those where people are split on whether they will take a COVID-19 vaccine.

“We’re seeing the same thing with our hospital staff as well. We’ve done an internal survey. It’s about 50/50 on who would get the vaccine and who would like to wait,” Wagner said.

The Finney County Health Department is hearing similar feedback.

“I’ve really heard kind of a mix of opinions of the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Finney County Health Department Director Colleen Drees.

Healthcare workers said uncertainty comes for many who still have a lot of questions about the vaccine.

“Of course, anything that has developed as quickly as what this vaccine has been, there’s gonna be questions,” Drees said.

Among the questions is whether those who have tested positive for COVID-19 and recovered need to get the vaccine.

Wagner said she’s seen a number of older people becoming more anxious to get it.

“The ones that I’ve visited with that are the most anxious to get the vaccine have been those in the older population, maybe those who are age 65 and older who have been homebound for the most part during this pandemic, and they’re kind of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel,” Wagner said.

While details like when, where, and how the vaccine will be stored and distributed are still in question, counties across Kansas are looking forward to getting more information about the vaccine early next week.

“We’ve been highly impacted by the pandemic here, so we’re looking for any opportunities to combat COVID-19,” Wagner said.

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