Kansas governor lays out timeline for COVID-19 vaccine distribution
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Some elected officials in Kansas voiced their concerns over the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. They did so on Friday during a bi-weekly conference call with Governor Laura Kelly. On Thursday, the governor released the state’s finalized plan to distribute the vaccine.
Much of the state remains in the first phase, making sure frontline healthcare workers are vaccinated.
During Friday’s call, Gov. Kelly said the timeline is not set in stone, but she hopes to wrap up Phase 1 in the next ten days. Phase 2 would begin in late January or early February and end in April or May, Phase 3 begin and then end in June followed by Phases 4 and 5 which would eventually include all Kansans over the age of 16 and/or children depending on the state of the vaccine.
Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple joined the call. He said the vaccine needs to be used to vaccinate as many people as it can.
“Not just on the speed of this happening, but on the reporting. We have to go through all these different layers to figure out who was able to get their supply into the arms of folks and who has extra supply,” said the mayor.
Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter asked why some first responders are being vaccinated in Phase 1 and others who may be exposed to close contacts every day aren’t.
“We make calls non-stop into homes, on disturbances, on check to welfares, those kind of things. Doesn’t make sense why one group of first responders get it and the other group doesn’t so I would like answers on that,” queried the sheriff.
Sedgwick County released a statement saying, “It’s doing all that it can to follow guidance from KDHE and CDC. First responders who are EMTs or with EMS are able to receive the vaccine. From the state, we know that law enforcement officers are able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Phase 2.”
Sheriff Easter said another frustration he’s dealing with is not knowing when his people will be able to get vaccinated. He said may of his employees are scared to work and possibly bring COVID-19 home to their families.
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