Governor Laura Kelly Announces Kansas Moves to Phase 2 of COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution
TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly will announce tomorrow the statewide move to Phase 2 of Kansas’ COVID-19 vaccination plan. With this move, all those aged 65+, those in eligible congregate settings, and all high-contact critical workers will now be prioritized for vaccination, in addition to any one from Phase 1 who has not yet been vaccinated.
“After moving quickly to vaccinate close to 130,000 frontline health care workers and Kansas seniors, my administration has worked with local health departments and providers to prepare to move Kansas into Phase 2,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “While it’s important to remember that the rate of vaccinations will be dependent on the amount we receive from the federal government, we use every tool available to make vaccine delivery transparent, efficient, and fast in order to reach as many Kansans as possible.”
Approximately 1 million Kansans are in Phase 2 but the next weekly supply of vaccine from the federal government contains approximately 45,000 new first doses so not everyone in Phase 2 will be able to receive their vaccine immediately. Each county, through local health departments, will decide how their limited supply of the doses will be allocated by population groups.
Critically, to drive transparency, a vaccine dashboard is available that includes key metrics that will be updated three times a week. In addition to the dashboard, in the coming weeks, the State of Kansas will launch a “Find my Vaccine” mapping tool, so Kansans can locate sites that are offering vaccine administration in their communities.
Governor Kelly and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) ask for your patience while federal supply remains low and for those in prioritized populations to contact their local health departments to learn more about when they will begin to inoculate Phase 2 populations and how they will prioritize within that group or anyone remaining in Phase 1 who has not received the vaccine.
To assist vaccine distribution efforts, Governor Kelly also announced today the appointment of Marci Nielsen, PhD, MPH to Chief Advisor for COVID-19 Coordination and Seth Konkel to the role of Special Advisor for COVID-19 Vaccination.
“With significant experience in public health and operations between them, Marci and Seth will be valuable sources of support to my team and the team at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment as vaccine supply increases,” Governor Kelly said. “I am pleased to have them on board.”
Phase 2 Guidelines:
- Persons aged 65 and older
- High-contact critical workers necessary to maintain systems, assets, and activities that are vital to the state security, the economy or public health, or who interact with large numbers of contacts and job-related COVID-19 exposure. COVID-19 risk is associated with the likelihood of infecting oneself or spreading the virus. Factors that increase risk include proximity, type of contact, duration of contacts and challenges to implement protective measures. This includes:
o Firefighters, police officers, first responders, and correction officers
o Grocery store workers and food services
o K-12 and childcare workers, including teachers, custodians, drivers, &
o Food processing, including meat processing plants
o Large-scale aviation manufacturing plants
o Transportation workers
o Workers in retail, agriculture, supply of critical services or materials for COVID-19 response, the U.S. Postal Service, and Department of motor vehicles
- Those living or working in licensed congregate settings and other special care or congregate environments where social distancing is not possible, including:
o Homeless shelters
o Congregate childcare institutions
o Emergency shelters or safe houses
o Corrections facilities
o Behavioral health institutions