KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly and Sec. Lee Norman of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment joined University of Kansas Health System officials for their COVID-19 briefing on Tuesday.
The officials spent a great deal of time discussing the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine arriving and being distributed in the state.
Kelly said she is relieved and that the state is truly turning the corner.
"The vaccine is coming and we will be able to start taking care of folks," she said.
Dr. Norman said there is even a little leveling off of the number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals, though they still expect a surge from the Thanksgiving holiday.
As more shipments of the vaccine arrive in Kansas, there will be a wider distribution of the drug. Norman said it will even reach health departments and pharmacies very soon to be distributed to the first wave of Kansans.
That wave includes healthcare workers directly involved in COVID-19 care as well as nursing home residents.
"I would like to encourage Kansas to stay with it, keep your mask on," Kelly said. She also asked that Kansas refrain from gathering for the holidays.
Once the vaccine is available to the wider population, Norman said it will be best to look at how to sign up for the vaccine regionally.
"Help is on the way. We can do this, we can beat the virus if we stick together," Kelly said.