Kansas lawmakers meet to review COVID-19 vaccine distribution

Posted at 7:12 PM, Jan 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-12 20:12:21-05

TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas lawmakers say they have many questions about how the state's COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan works.

At the end of 2020, Kansas ranked last in vaccine distribution.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Secretary Dr. Lee Norman said a lag in data was to blame for the low ranking.

"From the very first weekend that we got the vaccine it was in every single one of 105 counties,"Norman said on Tuesday's University of Kansas Health System update. "That data is catching up, we blew by 30 states just since last Friday to be in the top tier."

Two committees were scheduled to meet with KDHE Tuesday, the House Health and Human Services Committee, and the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee.

Both committee chairs said they were disappointed that KDHE either canceled or did not show up to the meetings.

Sen. Richard Hilderbrand, Chair of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee, said members wanted to ask some clarifying questions to KDHE.

"How are citizens of Kansas going to know hey it's my turn, I'm in this phase, I can go get a vaccine, where can I go it?" Hilderbrand said.

Rep. Brenda Landwehr, Chair of the House Health and Human Services Committee, said lawmakers are concerned about getting accurate information.

"There should be a dashboard that's up and running to be able to answer questions whether it's for the public, or also for our health providers and so people have a better understanding of how that first tier, second tier will work," Landwehr said.

Landwehr said committee members are getting phone calls from constituents with questions about the vaccine they can't answer. She said the committee is looking at meeting with KDHE next week to get more information.