By TOMMY REZAC
St. Joseph Post
TROY, KS - The Doniphan County Health Department is set to vaccinate another 200 people this week after experiencing weather-related delays last week.
Doniphan County was supposed to receive a shipment of 200 vaccines on Feb. 17, but the snow and extreme cold foiled those plans.
The week wasn't a complete loss, however. Doniphan County Health Administrator Sheryl Pierce says the department held a vaccine clinic at the Troy Community Center on the morning of Feb. 16, when morning lows were around 20-below zero.
Around 100 people age 65 or older still received their first dose of the vaccine, despite the extreme conditions.
"They came in their wheelchairs and walkers and canes," Pierce said. "Every one of them showed up. I think we only had five people who canceled that day, but we were easily able to get their slots filled."
The clinic that was canceled last Wednesday has been rescheduled to this Thursday, Feb. 25, at the Troy Community Center with appointment times remaining the same.
Kansas is still in Phase 2 of their COVID-19 vaccination plan. This includes anyone over the age of 65, people who work in congregate settings and high-contact critical workers.
Phase 3 will include people ages 16-64 "with severe medical risks" and "other critical workers." Pierce believes this will present challenges in prioritizing who gets a shot first in Doniphan County.
"Everybody thinks they're essential, everybody thinks they're critical," Pierce said. "We've been getting phone calls from many entities that say, 'My boss says I'm critical or I'm essential.'"
Pierce said the biggest frustration continues to be the limited availability of vaccine. She says the Doniphan County Health Department has the plans and people in place to vaccinate up to 500 people per day.
"We've exercised the drive-thru (clinics)," Pierce said. "We've done them practically every year for many years. We just need the vaccine."
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