Kansas pushes efforts to boost vaccinations as national goal shifts


TOPEKA (KSNT) — As President Biden’s administration has shifted toward a new vaccination goal, Kansas is pushing efforts to increase vaccinations.

The White House acknowledged Tuesday that President Biden will fall short of his initial goal to vaccinate at least 70% of American adults with at least one shot by July 4. However, the administration expects to meet that threshold for adults 27 or older by the holiday.

This comes as some states have seen lower vaccination rates, as coronavirus variant cases become more prevalent.

According to Kansas health officials, the state has seen a “slow down” in vaccinations. As of Wednesday, CDC numbers show about 52.5% of adults in the state have been fully vaccinated. 61.5% have received at least one shot.

The state’s Chief Advisor of Vaccine Distribution, Dr. Marci Nielsen, said the state is trying several avenues to encourage people to get vaccinated. That includes grassroot efforts and incentives.

“That ranges from door-to-door campaigns with members of the faith community to working with employers who want to get their workforce vaccinated, and want to be able to offer the vaccine in a convenient way,” Nielsen said.

Last week, the state awarded $900,000 in grants to healthcare providers to support vaccination efforts. Also, to attempt to increase vaccinations among the state’s younger population, children ages 12 and older, some vaccine clinics have been set up at schools.

The state has worked to increase vaccination levels, as the new Delta variant is on the rise.

Recently updated state data shows 112 Delta variant cases in Kansas, which indicates two more cases being identified since Monday.

In an email to the Kansas Capitol Bureau on Wednesday, the state’s department of health and environment suggested that vaccinations may be the key to getting new variant cases under control.

“Current data suggests that COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States offer protection against most variants currently spreading in the United States.”


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