Kansas City-area health leaders urge patience, say vaccine supply 'limited'

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Posted at 11:28 AM, Jan 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-21 13:16:38-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The leaders of Kansas City-area health departments on Thursday issued a joint call for people to be patient with the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, emphasizing that supply is limited and the priority remains on vaccinating health care workers.

Public health directors in Kansas City, Missouri; Cass, Clay, Platte and Ray counties in Missouri; and Johnson, Wyandotte, Leavenworth and Miami counties in Kansas issued the statement in tandem, saying they have seen a high demand from residents for the vaccine.

The health department leaders said that while both Kansas and Missouri have advanced to the next phases in their vaccine distribution plans, supply “remains very limited” in the region.

Frontline health care workers, along with residents and staff of long-term care facilities, remain the first priority in distribution.

Once supply increases, other groups in the next phases — which in both states include adults 65 and older — will be prioritized, according to the health leaders.

“Many local public health departments and other state-approved vaccinators are beginning to take information for persons 65 years and older and will communicate for appointments when the supply of vaccine is sufficient,” the joint statement said. “Within the metropolitan area, the local public health departments are working together and connecting with other vaccination health organizations to ensure the vaccine received from the states is rolled out as quickly as possible given the very limited supply.”

The health department directors said at this point, people should monitor their local health department’s website for information and sign up to receive notifications if available.

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People should not go to vaccination sites without an appointment, and those who do register must commit to the appointment so that doses aren’t wasted, the health directors said.