Sedgwick County leaders discuss next steps in COVID-19 vaccine rollout
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The current COVID-19 vaccine-distribution effort in Sedgwick County includes taking appointments for people who are 65 and older. Looking ahead to more doses available, who’s next in line to be vaccinated? That’s a question Sedgwick County leaders pondered in a meeting on Wednesday (March 3). The county is moving toward a job-based grouping, but said the plan they worked out Wednesday is fluid and could change.
Currently Sedgwick County is in Phase 2 of Kansas’ vaccine rollout plan. The county said it hopes to move toward the next phase, Phase 2A, in the next few weeks. Phase 2A will include veterinarians, those in public safety (including courts, law enforcement and corrections, and the National Weather Service), childcare care workers, those in aviation and manufacturing plants and transportation and more congregate-setting workers. These are all people who cannot socially distance from others while they work.
After this group is vaccinated, Sedgwick County will move on to Phase 2B. This group includes the United States Postal Service, workers at the DMV, those in higher education, clergy workers and again, those in congregate work settings.
Lastly, within Phase 2 is Phase 2C. This includes private packaging and postal delivery workers still, with UPS and FedEx added. This group also includes grocery store and food-service workers, restaurant employees, agriculture and other industry and retail sales, once again along with people in congregate work settings.
The county said it is working to smooth out the details about how you can show that you are an employee with any of the groups explained in the sub-groups of Phase 2, whether that be an ID badge or a note from your employer. The county said it hopes to be moving to Phase 2A within the next few weeks. It will make that decision once it sees fewer appointments being scheduled for those 65 and older.
Sedgwick County commissioners were advocating for those who have underlying health conditions to be in Phase 2A of the plan. They are writing a letter to the governor’s office and Kansas Department of Health and Environment to see if the county can move these people up. While advocating for the change, the county doesn’t want to stray from the state’s plan with vaccine distribution.
The fear is that the state would take vaccine from Sedgiwck County because it’d look like the county is further ahead. The doses taken from Sedgwick County would be allocated to other counties who aren’t as far along in their rollout plans. That’s why commissioners opted to write the letter to the governor to make those with underlying health conditions a higher priority.
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