Sedgwick County readies for next phase of COVID-19 vaccines

Coronavirus; vaccine
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The Sedgwick County Health Department says it successfully completed phase one of distribution and is ready for phase two.

Sedgwick County Health Officer Dr. Garold Minns says the biggest challenge moving forward is getting the vaccines, saying, “It’s barely a drop in the bucket for this population. So we’re anxiously awaiting.”

People 65 and older are next in line in Sedgwick County.

“This population is the largest population that’s requiring admission to our ICU and hospitals. We want to prevent them from getting the disease because again the death rate in this group is much higher than the age groups,” Dr. Minns said.

Roughly 70,000 people in Sedgwick County make up that age group.

“We’re not going to receive a fraction of that vaccine,” said Adrienne Byrne, Sedgwick County Health Director.

Byrne said there are no answers on when the Phase 2 process will start.

“When we will start to get weekly allotments? We just don’t know. The rollout has been much slower on a federal level. This really isn’t about states. It’s a federal level.”

Once vaccines begin to arrive, Dr. Minns says it will take time to get through the first shot of the second phase.

“It may take a month or a month-and-a-half to two months. Even if we got all the vaccine today, it would probably take that long to just physically get everybody through the line and get them vaccinated,” he said.

Sedgwick County is still working out details for how the distribution will proceed. Health officials say they are still looking at a scheduling system.