By KEN CARPENTER
Great Bend Post
The Barton County Health Department is now offering COVID-19 vaccinations for children ages 5 through 11. The Centers For Disease Control approved the vaccine last Tuesday. County Health Director Karen Winkelman explained what the children will receive.
"Now we can give the Pfizer vaccine. There's a special preparation for children ages 5 through 11," Winkelman said. "You get one dose, you get a second dose in three weeks just like the adult preparation."
The vaccine is administered at the Health Department at 1300 Kansas Avenue in Great Bend on a walk-in basis.
Winkelman is also praising the new "test-to-stay" program created by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment that allows children to stay in school after they have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
"Last year we've faced so many missed days of school with children and missed days of education," Winkelman commented. "This year the "test-to-stay" option has been implemented in several of our districts, and it's been a good thing. We work very closely with the school to identify if they have a positive that they report it to us. Then they also identify closed contacts within the school setting."
Winkelman says there has been a slight decrease in COVID-19 cases in the county since September. the Health Department is still providing COVID testing Mondays through Fridays. Anyone wanting a test should call the Health Department before coming for the test.