By COLE REIF
Great Bend Post
The State of Kansas is moving on to Phase 3 and Phase 4 under Kansas Governor Laura Kelly’s COVID-19 vaccination plan March 22. Individuals between ages 16 and 64 with a preexisting medical condition and other non-healthcare workers in critical infrastructure will be eligible for vaccination.
The Barton County
Health Department is planning on having another drive-thru vaccination clinic Wednesday, March 24. Barton County Health Director Karen
Winkelman expects an uptick in interest for the vaccine once it opens up to all
"Our numbers have still been relatively high," said Winkelman. "I think we are coming to a point where we have really saturated Phase 1 and Phase 2. I am hoping by opening up Phase 3 and Phase 4 on Monday, we will see a larger interest in it."
Based on data before last Thursday’s drive-thru clinic and Saturday’s vaccinations given at the Eagle Radio Home and Garden Show, the Barton County Health Department had distributed more than 6,400 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
"Early on, there was some hesitation," said Winkelman. "People wanted to see how others did with the vaccination. They are seeing that they are fine."
The drive-thru clinics have consistently been held at the Barton County Fairgrounds in the Expo III building. Due to the Great Bend Farm, Ranch and Hemp Expo coming up in early April, this Wednesday’s clinic will be the final time the vaccinations take place at the fairgrounds.
"We are still in the logistics of planning that," said Winkelman. "We are working closely with the Barton County Sheriff on traffic control. At this time, I am not at the point of releasing the new location, but we are working on it."
Along with the Health Department, local pharmacies and area hospitals are providing COVID-19 vaccinations.