Kansas to receive, distribute 150,000 vaccine doses by month's end, governor says

Posted at 5:12 PM, Dec 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-02 18:12:11-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly on Wednesday said the state will receive 150,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses by the end of December.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are on track to earn emergency authorization from the FDA by Dec. 10 and Dec. 14, respectively.

Kansas is estimated to receive 24,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which requires ultra-cold storage, in its first shipment.

The Moderna vaccine shipment will follow shortly, Kelly said, with weekly shipments of both vaccines thereafter.

For security reasons, the state will not reveal the locations of the storage facilities. There are only five or six in the state.

Kelly said state leaders are working on an “organized, systematic distribution” plan to quickly get the vaccines to all regions of the state.

Kansas’ vaccine distribution plan is in line with the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ recommendations.

In Kansas, the first round of vaccines will go to health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities, groups who are deemed high risk.

Kelly said other people may be added to this group in time.

The second phase of the distribution plan includes people 65 and older who are not high risk.

In the third phase, those younger than 65 and not at high risk will receive the vaccine.

Kansas officials will work to vaccinate as many people in the first group as possible by the end of the month, the governor said, though that timeline is dependent on when the companies get the vaccines to the state.

People in phases two and three will get the vaccine on a “rolling basis” between late winter and spring.

Kelly said the vaccines will be free, though vaccine providers can charge an administration fee.

No one will be turned away if they can’t afford that fee, the governor said.

More than 200 providers are in the process of signing up to administer the vaccine or have already signed up.

Kelly said since each vaccine is most effective with two doses, Kansas will have enough to vaccinate 75,000 people.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Dr. Lee Norman said not everyone is going to want the vaccine at first.

In fact, Norman said the department expects around 30% of people to opt out of the initial rounds of vaccination.

“Some people are hesitant about every vaccine on the planet,” Norman said.

Norman emphasized that the term “warp speed” that is often used in connection to the virus vaccines refers to the distribution plan, not the development of the vaccine.

The vaccine has not been approved for use in children, only adults 18 and older.