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Appointments Closed For Now As Sedgwick County Awaits More COVID-19 Vaccines

Sedgwick County Health Department workers set up a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Intrust Bank Arena.
Brian Grimmett
/
Kansas News Service

The Sedgwick County Health Department expects to receive more COVID-19 vaccine this week.

The county is in Phase 2 of the state vaccination plan but will continue to prioritize older people for appointments. 

The vaccine supply to Sedgwick County has been unpredictable the past month since the public vaccination clinic opened at Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita.

County Health Director Adrienne Byrne says that’s why the county won’t open the schedule for appointments until a vaccine shipment arrives.

“Right now, we’re still in that place that we don’t know until 12 to 24 hours before we get vaccine, exactly how much we are going to get and when,” Byrne said. “Our intent is not to schedule more appointments than the vaccine we have on hand.”

The county allowed residents 90 years old and older to schedule appointments last week, and then opened it up to people 83 years old and up who are not living in long-term care facilities. The schedule filled up quickly for the allotted vaccine doses, and the county stopped taking appointments.

Byrne says the county will add more age groups based on vaccine supply.

“We didn’t want to go right to 80 years old based on knowing that there were 11,000 people, and there’s going to be more people between 80 and 83 than there are 83 and 85,” she said.

Other Phase 2 populations like first responders and teachers will be vaccinated later.

She says the vaccination clinic will operate on a regular schedule once COVID-19 vaccine shipments stabilize.

The federal government is only sending about 45,000 vaccine doses to Kansas each week. The state health department distributes a different amount of vaccine to each county.

Sedgwick County has administered more than 12,000 vaccinations since the end of December. The shots are free and only available to Sedgwick County residents. The county is using a strict appointment-only schedule to discourage walk-ins.

“If we let someone through that doesn’t have an appointment and all of our vaccine allotted, that means that someone who has an appointment will have to be cancelled,” Byrne said.

Curbside vaccinations are now an option, and the county is trying to set up a drive-thru location.

Health care workers and medical-related staff began receiving their second vaccine doses this week.

Hospitals in Wichita and community health clinics GraceMed, Health Core and Hunter Health have also received vaccine shipments. Their doses have gone to employees.

Getting vaccinated in Sedgwick County:

  • Vaccinations are free, and available to Sedgwick County residents only
  • Must schedule an appointment online or by phone at (316) 660-1029
  • Who's eligible as of Jan. 26: residents 83 years old and older; medical personnel who didn't receive first dose of vaccine yet