Nearly 1 in 5 Riley County residents have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
As of Friday, more than 5,800 were fully vaccinated and an additional 5,800 receiving their first shot. Riley County Public Information Officer Alice Massimi addressed members of the Manhattan Area Recovery Task Force Thursday.
“These are individuals that have been vaccinated by Riley County Health Department or our partners at Stone Creek, Lafene and others because we have given them some of our allotment we have received from KDHE,” she said.
Local pharmacies, including Dillon’s, Hy-Vee and Walgreens are offering vaccines as well. Their data is not included in the county’s official numbers, meaning the nearly 16 percent of those who’ve received the Moderna vaccine could in fact be even higher.
It’s progress being celebrated at the local level, where Riley County has moved quickly and efficiently to get its shipments into the arms of many.
“We estimate there’s about 62,000 people in Riley County that are eligible to be vaccinated. Those are people over 18. Since we’ve been getting Moderna, that’s only for adults 18 and over,” Massimi said.
The Pfizer vaccine would allow 16 and 17 year old residents to get shots.
Task Force co-chair and Ascension Via Christi President Bob Copple says a lot of progress is being made both at the local and state level. He adds that the Kansas Department of Health and Environment expects vaccine shipments to increase dramatically in the next several weeks.
“They’re anticipating another bump in vaccine volume coming to the state and so they’re starting to plan for that and how that would be distributed,” he said.
The goal, he says is to phase up the ability to deliver the volume as an increased quantity becomes available.
President Joe Biden announced Thursday, during a nationally televised address, that vaccines should be available to all adults 18 and older by May 1. For now, the state continues through phase 2 of its four phased vaccination process. Phase 3 of the state’s four-tiered vaccination phasing process is expected to begin sometime in early April. Copple says the clinics are helping Riley County keep progressing.
“When they do one of these large clinics with 600 to 800 people a day, that’s basically a percentage of the population. So that’s how you keep making those kind of strides,” he said.
Single doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are also anticipated to be coming to Riley County, but a delivery date for that has not been announced.
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