Kansas among top states in percentage of seniors vaccinated for COVID-19

Capital-Journal staff
Stormont Vail employees administer doses of the COVID-19 vaccine recently at Stormont Vail Event Center.

Between Monday and Wednesday, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported 540 new cases from COVID-19, five new deaths and 39 new hospitalizations.

The number of new cases has held steady at less than 1,000, and deaths have been in the single digits as the total number of cases seems to be plateauing.

Overall, the state has seen 303,767 cases and 4,932 deaths throughout the pandemic.

This comes as vaccinations for the virus continue to make progress throughout Kansas. Right now, the state ranks 33th in doses administered per capita, at 50,135 doses administered per 100,000 people. It's an improvement over the earlier days of the vaccine rollout, when Kansas was nearly last, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In another sign of progress, Kansas is 10th in the percentage of vaccinated seniors, at about 80%. Only 12 other states have at least 80% of seniors vaccinated.

"This is how we get Kansans back to work, our kids back to school — and our state back to normal," Gov. Laura Kelly said in a tweet celebrating that news.

Older adults, who are at higher risk of dying from COVID-19, were prioritized early in the governor's vaccination plan. Those living in long-term care facilities were in the first phase and primarily handled by a federal pharmacy partnership program. Others who were 65 years old or older were put in Phase 2 of rollout.

Now, though, the state recently opened vaccines to all Kansan adults in an effort to accelerate vaccinations. 

As of Wednesday, KDHE said that 32% of Kansans have had at least one vaccine dose, around 931,653 people.