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June 14th, 2021

covid 19 vaccineELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times

 

More and more progress continues to be made against COVID-19 and late last week, it was announced Kansas had reached another milestone in regards to vaccination. 

Gov. Laura Kelly announced Friday that 50 percent of Kansans 18 and older are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a June 4 release from the State of Kansas.

“I’m pleased at our state’s consistent progress in getting shots in arms – but we still can’t take our foot off the gas,” Gov. Kelly noted in the release. “Every Kansan must get vaccinated to protect our communities, our schools, and our economy from future outbreaks, and maintain our steady return to normal.”

To date, according to CDC reports, 50 percent of Kansans 18 and older have been fully vaccinated, and 59.9 percent of Kansans 18 and older have been vaccinated with one dose. Additionally, 38.5 percent of all Kansans are reported as vaccinated, with 46.9 percent of Kansans having received one dose.

While reaching the milestone is great work, Gov. Kelly said there is still plenty of work left to do. 

“While vaccinating half of all Kansans 18 and older is a significant milestone, hospitalization rates among young people are rising nationwide. It’s critical that all Kansans age 12 and older get vaccinated,” Gov. Kelly noted in the State of Kansas release. “Health experts continue to demonstrate a thorough, deliberate review process when it comes to vaccines, making safety the number one priority in vaccine approval. The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and free – I encourage all Kansans to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated.” 

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This milestone comes after the announcement early in May of Kansas eclipsing 2 million vaccines. Gov. Kelly announced last month Kansas has administered more than 2 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, more than doubling the number of doses administered in about six weeks, according to a May release from the State of Kansas. 

“I want to be clear. The vaccine is safe, it’s effective, and it’s free. I urge all Kansans to get vaccinated, and to encourage your families, friends, and communities to do the same,” Kelly said in the May release from the State of Kansas. “All Kansans are encouraged to visit Vaccines.gov to find the nearest location with an available vaccine.”

Kansas entered into the final phase of vaccine distribution at the end of March and local health officials were happy with the progress made with the vaccine distribution. Vaccinations have continued in the community for the past several weeks. 

“This was such a consuming task for everyone during this time, and it will take a lot of that extra work out of the equation for everyone, and the main thing is now, everyone 18 years old and older who wants to get the vaccine will be able to get it without having to wait until their proper phase,” Seward County Health Department Director Martha Brown said in a March 31 L&T story. “When we've had our vaccine pods so far, they've been for specific groups and there were questions people had to answer to make sure they were qualified for that particular phase, and that's something else that took quite a bit of time, so that will also be cut down with Kansas moving to Phase 5. Now when we do our vaccination pods, we can have them open to everyone and everything's going to be more streamlined – we'll still ask a few questions beforehand as far as if they have certain allergies or not and things like that, but we won't have to have as many of those questions as with the previous phases. The crazy thing with all of this, though, is it's very temperature-sensitive and after it's thawed out properly, those 10 doses in each vial (at least with the Moderna one) have to be used up quickly or else it will go bad. COVID-19 seems like just such a part of life now we've all had to live with for the past year, and while it's not going 100 percent away, this vaccine will be a great help in making things better and helping things go back to before the pandemic. And even after getting the vaccine, I still encourage everyone to take safety precautions like wearing masks and keeping extra clean in order to stay healthy. With the vaccine out now, I hope we're on a good path, and I would encourage everyone who can get it to get it.”

Worldwide, more than 2.12 billion doses have been administered across 176 countries, according to data collected by Bloomberg, and the latest rate was nearly 38.9 million doses per day. This is in line with an amendment proposed by Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran and Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine late last month to ship the vaccine worldwide. 

“Ending the global pandemic as quickly as possible should be a top priority for the United States,” Moran noted in a May 19 release from his office. “With millions of excess vaccines still available, it is vital that we save lives by providing the COVID-19 vaccine to countries suffering from this virus. America cannot afford to stand by as the pandemic continues while other countries, like China and Russia, gain influence by sharing their vaccines. Distributing excess vaccines will prevent new strains from forming, save American lives, open up the global economy and enhance America’s international standing.” 

In the U.S. alone, according to Bloomberg data, 302 million doses have been given so far, and in the last week, an average of 996,357 doses per day were administered. 

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