62 Kansas counties turn down vaccine doses as demand wanes

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WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — More than half of Kansas’ counties have turned down their weekly allotment of coronavirus vaccine doses because demand for the shots has declined.

The state said 62 of Kansas’ 105 counties declined their weekly allocations of vaccines from the state last week.

A spokesperson for Gov. Laura Kelly said it appears that many Kansans are delaying getting the vaccine after there has been a steady drop in the number of new infections, hospitalizations and deaths in the state.

State officials are planning a campaign to encourage people who are indifferent or reluctant to get the vaccine to consider getting the shots. And plans are underway to target vaccine distribution more on younger people who make up a large portion of the new cases in the state.

Barton County in central Kansas is one of the places that declined its shipment of the shots. In that county, about 30% of adults have received at least one dose of a vaccine compared to 36.4% across the state.

Barton County Health Director Karen Winkelman said she plans to move away from mass vaccination clinics to using more private doctors and pharmacies that have closer relationships with their patients. The county is also offering walk-in vaccination without appointments now.

But Winkelman said she won’t twist people’s arms to get them vaccinated.

“I would like to see the number higher,” she said, “but I can also respect people’s decisions.”

First published on: AP

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