CORONAVIRUS: Vaccination slots not filling as rapidly in Lyon County, opening risk of smaller shipments Featured

CORONAVIRUS: Vaccination slots not filling as rapidly in Lyon County, opening risk of smaller shipments KVOE News file photo

Early on in the COVID-19 vaccination process, slots filled up rapidly as seniors lined up for doses. Now that the process is wide open to all adults ages 18 and older -- 16 and up whenever Pfizer vaccines are on hand -- those vaccination slots aren't filling up as quickly.

In fact, Lyon County Public Health Emergency Preparedness Director Jennifer Millbern says Thursday's clinic was cut to a half-day event because of the lower demand. It's the first time Public Health has seen this issue to this degree.

Lyon County has a primary dose clinic Thursday at the Fairgrounds Anderson Building, but less than half the slots involving Moderna vaccines were full as of Wednesday night. Slots involving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, however, were full. Haag Pharmacy has had Johnson & Johnson vaccine clinics all week, while Newman Regional Health has Moderna vaccines for clinics Thursday and Friday.

A guest on KVOE's Newsmaker segment Thursday, Millbern acknowledged people are quite interested in the single-dose Johnson & Johnson variety, but she says residents should worry more about getting vaccinated and less about whether they need one dose or two to complete the process. Any unused doses have to be returned to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. That's concerning because it opens the door for smaller vaccine shipments down the road -- and it comes with the more transmissible UK variant now becoming the dominant strain nationwide. The UK variant is affecting children under age 16, who can't be vaccinated until approved by the Food and Drug Administration and that may not happen until September.

In addition, Millbern says Lyon County can expect sharply reduced numbers of the Johnson & Johnson vaccines for at least the next two weeks after a manufacturing failure at a facility in Baltimore last month.

In statistics released this week through the state's immunization WebIZ website, Lyon County has close to 25 percent of its estimated overall population of 33,400 people fully vaccinated. The percentage is just under 30 percent for people ages 18 and up, but it jumps to over 65 percent for people over age 65.

Millbern will have another update on Lyon County's COVID-19 response during KVOE's Newsmaker segment at 7:15 am April 15.

Rate this item
(1 Vote)