The second dose of COVD-19 vaccines were being administered this week to those in Phase 1 of the Kansas vaccination plan by the Dickinson County Health Department.
Phase 2, high-contact critical workers and those over 65, could start as early as next week, according to John Hultgren, director of the health department.
However, those anxiously waiting the start of Phase 2 will have to sit tight for details.
“We are still working with the people that they put into Phase 1,” Hultgren said.
Phase 1 include health care workers and those living in long-term care senior housing. Dickinson County has been receiving the Moderna vaccine which requires a second vaccine after 28 days.
“We are currently doing those vaccines. Once we get Phase 1 done, we will move into Phase 2,” he said.
Hultgren said some of those in Phase 2 could start getting the first dose of the vaccine next week.
However, the county is looking for a location in and around Abilene to administer the vaccine and there is no guarantee how much vaccine the county will receive each week.
“There are several ways of doing it. Some are doing a drive up type situation. We have some reservations on how well that would work,” he said.
Finding a location will be the next step.
The obvious locations — Sterl Hall, Civic Center and courthouse — are unavailable because of the renovations to the courthouse. District court is moving to Sterl Hall, county offices are moving to the Civic Center and the courthouse will be going through a remodel.
“We are looking at a facility we can have it in,” Hultgren said. “I think we have narrowed it down to a couple that are big enough to do it. It has to be a vacant building that has enough parking. We would like it to be a permanent place throughout.”
As soon as the department has details and dates it will be published.
“The difficulty with some of its, we don’t know week to week how much vaccine we are going to get,” he said.
He said most places setting up for the second phase aren’t taking appointments.
“They are waiting until they actually have the vaccine in hand and know they have it before they allow appointments to be made,” he said. “That is probably the route we will take as well. You hate to promise it and not be able to deliver for whatever reason.”
Hultgren said that people that have tested positive for COVID-19 can still receive the vaccine once the person is over the symptoms.
The county has no control over the numbers of vaccine it receives.
“We get weekly shipments and that is based upon the availability the Federal government gives to the state,” he said.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment then decides each week how much to give to the counties.
The health department also announced it was seeking licensed medical and non-licensed volunteers to help with the upcoming mass COVID-19 clinics. Volunteers can contact the department at (785) 263-4179.
Contact Tim Horan at firstname.lastname@example.org.