Health officer asks for patience during vaccine distribution

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

The Leavenworth County health officer says he understands people in the county want to take a COVID-19 vaccine. But right now, the demand far exceeds the supply.

“Please be patient,” said Jamie Miller, who is the director of Leavenworth County Health Department.

For now, the county is still in the first phase of the state’s five-phase plan for distributing COVID-19 vaccines.

Phase 1 includes health care workers and residents in long-term care facilities.

While he does not have an exact timeline, Miller anticipates Leavenworth County will move into Phase 2 in February.

Phase 2 will include people who are 65 and older.

Miller said the Leavenworth County Health Department will make announcements regarding when doses of the vaccine become available for distribution.

But even after additional doses arrive in Leavenworth County for Phase 2, there still may not be enough supply to meet the demand.

Miller said there are a lot of other people who also will be eligible to receive the vaccine in Phase 2 including first responders and teachers.

At this time, the Leavenworth County Health Department does not have a waiting list for the vaccine for members of the public. Miller said once enough vaccine doses are available, the Leavenworth County Health Department may organize large distribution events.

According to an update released Friday, the Leavenworth County Health Department has received a total of 724 COVID-19 vaccine doses. And of those, 455 have been administered.

“We’re trying to get through all of our Phase 1,” Miller said.

Phase 3 will include people between the age of 16 and 64 who have severe medical risks. Phase 4 will include adults with other medical risks, according to a chart for the state’s phased plan.

Phase 5 will include the rest of the population. The state may not reach this final phase until June.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR