Gov. Kelly announces COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan

Published: Dec. 2, 2020 at 6:08 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Governor Laura Kelly said Wednesday the state expects to receive its first shipment of a COVID-19 vaccine in a few weeks.

She said the vaccine will be distributed in three phases and her plan is in line with recommendations from the CDC.

According to Kelly, Kansas is expected to receive 24,000 doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine in mid-December and roughly another 49,000 from Moderna shortly after.

In all, the state is expecting to have 150,000 doses by the end of December, with more coming in weekly after that.

Kelly said Phase One will include high risk healthcare workers and nursing home residents. Phase Two will be all non high risk individuals 65 and over. Phase Three includes anyone non high risk under 65.

“We have laid our framework to prioritize vaccine delivery to those on the front lines of our pandemic response or those disproportionately affected by the virus,” Kelly continued saying, “With this schedule we intend to protect the greatest number of Kansans, foster economic recovery and get our kids back into our school buildings as quickly and safely as possible.”

She also said more than 200 providers have already signed up to assist in distributing a COVID-19 vaccine once it’s available.

Kelly adds the vaccine will be free, although providers may charge to administer it. However, no one will be turned away for inability to pay.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Dr. Lee Norman said according to a pfizer study showed 30% of people will be hesitant to receive a vaccine.

He said, “We expect that, some people are vaccine hesitant about every vaccine on the planet and we probably won’t do much to sway them unless they see continued problems with COVID-19 around them which they obviously will.”

Kelly says the state has enough funding to help distribute vaccines and staff until the end of the month when the CARES Act Funding will stop. She is calling on Washington D.C. to help the state going forward into 2021.

“It is imperative that folks back in Washington and Congress get it together and pass another stimulus package and ensure that states can staff up and get folks vaccinated as need among the variety of other things they need to ensure states have,” she said.

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