Gov. Laura Kelly says a new vaccine-finder map will help guide Kansans as more doses become available. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)
TOPEKA — Kansas officials on Wednesday unveiled an online map designed to help people figure out who to call and where to go to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
The map is part of a larger website that also provides information about the current phase of vaccine rollout and who is currently eligible to get the vaccine. Doses are currently reserved for people ages 65 and older, individuals in prison and other congregate settings, and critical workers.
The anticipated rollout of the “Find My Vaccine” platform arrives amid a six-week decline in new cases of COVID-19. Still, the pandemic remains a serious threat. On Wednesday, the Kansas Department for Health and Environment reported 86 more people have died from COVID-19, bringing the 11-month death toll to 3,895.
“I know that I sound like a broken record,” Gov. Laura Kelly said during a news conference at the Statehouse, “but while we can be reassured by these numbers, we cannot allow them to lull us into a false sense of security. So hang in there and continue wearing masks, continue getting tested, continue avoiding large gatherings, and continue to physical distance.”
Kelly said the state has now administered doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine to 198,000 Kansans, about 7% of the state population. She also said the state next week will receive an additional 80,000 doses of vaccines, including some booster shots for people who already received their fist dose.
The new online map, and a mobile-enhanced version, allows individuals to enter a zip code or click a dot in their area to find information about who is offering the vaccine, and how to sign up for it. The project remains a work in progress.
Some of the vaccination sites declined to be listed on the map, and others erroneously indicate they haven’t received vaccines. Larger metro area sites indicate they won’t schedule anyone.
“Because of the national vaccine shortage, many of our enrolled providers do not yet have vaccines to offer to the general public,” Kelly said. “But we wanted to go ahead and get ahead of the curve, have this platform ready to go and the public get familiar with it for when the supply does meet our demand.”
KDHE indicated about 50 legislators have taken advantage of an offering of the vaccine this week.
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