WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Sedgwick County is straying from the governor’s guidance. The county health director is only letting 83 years and older get the vaccine.
Sedgwick County Health Director Adrienne Byrne said with limited doses, the county has had to narrow its focus.
Can you cross the county line to get the vaccine? It depends. The state’s top doctor said yes, but some county health directors said no.
“Yes they can, a resident can go into any county to get vaccinated,” said Kansas Department of Health & Environment Secretary Dr. Lee Norman.
Kingman County said the current vaccine continues to be limited. The only people who will receive COVID-19 vaccines will be: Out-of-county residents who currently work in Kingman County or people who receive their primary healthcare services in Kingman County.
In Sedgwick, Harvey, Reno, and Butler County, the health directors in those counties are discouraging it. They said there are not enough vaccines to go around.
“There is a limited vaccine, and KDHE has said that we’ll be getting vaccine on a weekly basis, but it just really hard to know because they don’t know,” said health director Adrienne Byrne.
Fifth-grade teacher Allen Gallaway said he is teaching remote students because he is considered high risk for the virus.
“Being in contact with someone who might be a carrier could be a death sentence,” said Allen Gallaway.
Gallaway said teachers should be a priority. He said not knowing how long he, and other educators, will have to get the vaccine is disappointing.
“As much as a family depends on us being in school, you would think we would be one of the first ones to get the vaccination,” said Gallaway.
Gallaway said the sooner he gets the vaccine, the safer he will feel to get back to in-person teaching.
“Yes, I understand it takes time, but again, I think we should be one of the first people to get it,” said Gallaway.
Of those counties that discourage crossing the county line to get a vaccine, there are some exceptions.
If a person does not have nearby medical care or works in the county, they will not be turned away.