KCMO Council votes to create COVID-19 vaccine task force

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Posted at 10:11 PM, Jan 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-28 23:42:03-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The State of Missouri isn't doing a very good job of getting its residents the COVID-19 vaccine.

Instead, only 5.34% of the state's residents have received one shot through Wednesday, according to data compiled by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

"We don't want people standing in line for hours and hours upon a time," said KCMO Councilwoman Melissa Robinson.

Robinson wants residents to have confidence the city is doing all it can to get people vaccinated.

"We need to make sure that we're prepared, that we're transparent about the process that when we receive more vaccine that we have an efficient way a fair way an equitable to distribute the vaccine," said Robinson.

The task force also wlll design a plan for mass vaccination sites.

Mayor Quinton Lucas will select task force members.

"We're trying to make sure we're in the position where we can roll out quickly particularly where we have to scale up for larger population groups this is going to be vital," said Lucas.

Organizations in minority communities want to be sure there is clear plan to vaccinate those in under served areas.

"We don’t want people to have to have transportation barriers. We want them to be able to get there and get the vaccine so it’s important that a number of sites be set up," said Gwen Grant, CEO of the Urban League of Kansas City.

Grant told 41 Action News she's impressed with Truman Medical Center's delivery of vaccine to Morning Star Baptist Church in the central city.

Grant wants that efficiency to continue as more people are eligible to receive the vaccine

"The reality is we need multiple sites in multiple communities with ease of access for every person who wants to get a vaccination."

Community Builders of Kansas City also hope the vaccine distribution process is equitable.

"The first thing I want to see is equity in making sure this community that often time is often forgotten is at the table getting the vaccines so that we can try to minimize the health challenges that we had to face for so many years, said Emmet Pierson Jr., President and CEO of Community Builders of Kansas City.

Community Builders of Kansas City partnered with Swope Health in recent months for drive-through COVID-19 tests.

The two groups also want to provide vaccinations.

"We’re anticipating being able to roll out and really follow the lead of one of the foremost FQHC in the country, Swope Health Serves to roll out the vaccines," Pierson Jr. said.

The council resolution passed Thursday that lays out mission of the task force:

The Task Force shall, among other things, assist with development and execution of a plan to coordinate vaccine distribution for residents, including the uninsured; provide timely information to the public regarding vaccine distribution; work in coordination with the Kansas City Health Department, federally-qualified health centers, and Mid-America Regional Council to ensure timely, equitable, and efficient vaccine distribution; and provide adequate education regarding the safety of the vaccine to ensure Kansas Citians have facts regarding benefits and contraindications regarding the vaccine.

The task force should provide initial recommendations to the city within the next 30 days.