KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As Kansas and Missouri distribute more COVID-19 vaccines, many people are using online tools to see when and where they can receive theirs.
“You'll put in some basic information that would help us figure out what phase you might fall into and then your contact info, so we can reach out to you when your turn is going to come up," said Janell Friesen, public information officer with the Unified Government Public Health Department.
Online surveys are helping counties plan their distribution.
"So far we've had several thousand folks fill out our survey ,and we definitely want to encourage more folks to go fill that out," Friesen said.
As counties look to answer questions from the public, it's the state that determines when phases begin and who's eligible.
In Kansas, Phase 2 consists of people 65 and older and high-contact workers like teachers, firefighters, police officers and grocery store workers. Phase 3 includes people with serious medical conditions such as cancer, heart conditions and kidney disease, who are at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
Friesen says the health department is not only answering questions about when and where vaccines are available, but also general questions related to the vaccine.
“Some of it is letting people know more about the safety of the vaccine, how it works, the effectiveness, what to expect so that they know what it looks like, why it's important for our community to get a lot of people vaccinated," Friesen said.
A timetable for moving to Phase 2 in Kansas has not been made clear. Missouri starts its next tier on Monday, which includes people who are at an increased risk of severe illness.