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KCMO health director: It could be months before seniors get COVID-19 vaccine

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Posted at 4:41 PM, Jan 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-13 10:40:36-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Seniors are getting some good news regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, but it could still be months before they're actually able to get the shot.

"The CDC just announced that they are encouraging states to be more flexible and open up for those over 65, and those in the 16-to-65 category that have serious other health problems that make them at higher risk," said Dr. Rex Archer, director of Health for the City of Kansas City, Missouri.

In most areas of Kansas City, front line health care workers and the staff and residents of long-term care facilities are the ones receiving the vaccine.

With the updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 70-year-old Duchess Wall said she's hopeful she could get the vaccine soon.

"To have that part put on hold for a while is tough," Wall said.

Wall is a substitute teacher and her doctors asked her not to teach class in person until it's safe.

"With kids, some of them are going to go to middle school next year and then I won't see them after that," she said.

So, this vaccine would change everything for her, she said.

"As soon I get a vaccination, I think as soon as I get the first one, I can go back to subbing," Wall said. "I miss my kids so much in those two classes that I sub in almost all of the time."

The question of when seniors will be vaccinated remains, though.

"I believe the majority of them it will be months still before they are vaccinated. Certainly not days unless they are health care providers or something where they are in there category," Archer said.

While seniors may have to wait a little longer, being put in this first phase will likely speed up the process.

Wall said once she's vaccinated she wants "to get out and do things with my kiddos and my friends and spend a little more time with my sister."

Johnson County, KS
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