KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Beginning Monday, Kansans 16 years old and older will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine as the state heads into the Phase 5 of its vaccine roll out.
“With the anticipated increase in supply from the federal government, we must get every dose of vaccine into arms quickly,” Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly said on Friday. “I strongly encourage every Kansan to get the COVID-19 vaccine so we can get back to school, back to work and back to normal.”
As of March 26, more than 35% of adults in Kansas had received at least one dose of the vaccine.
"One of the things I hope is that people be understanding," Dr. Lee Norman, Kansas Department of Health and Environment secretary, said. "It’s not a light switch that all of a sudden they can just walk in to a doctors office or vaccinating site but to go through the registration process."
Douglas County officials said the county will continue to make progress on vaccinating people in phases 1-4. However, the week of April 12, leaders in the county will re-evaluate progress made on phases 3-4 to determine allocations for the next phase.
Local doctors said they see this as a good thing with states quickly moving to the next phase.
"With vaccinating starting, we have begun to see some decrease in disease incidents, as well as some other countries that have vaccinated large parts of their population, they have had marked decrease in COVID cases," Dr. Sarah Boyd, infectious disease physician at the Saint Luke's Health System, said. "From that part, I think it's a great opportunity especially as we have been worried about these variants and beginning to go back to school."
Missouri will also move to Phase 2 on Monday. Phase 2 includes disproportionately affected populations, along with those in other critical infrastructure sectors. Then the state will then allow all adults to be eligible for the vaccine in Phase 3 on April 9.