TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – Governor Laura Kelly says Kansas could receive up to 150,000 vaccines by the end of December. The governor released more details on the state’s vaccine plan during her weekly press coronavirus update on Wednesday.
The state expects to receive 23,750 vaccines from Pfizer within three to five days after the vaccine is marked for approval by the FDA. The dates for vaccine arrival are set between Dec. 13-15. Then, more vaccines are expected to come in the following weeks, helping fill the state’s demand for vaccines in vulnerable populations.
“The initial vaccines that we get, about 24,000, is not enough to even take care of all of our healthcare workers, so we will target the high-risk ones and those will be the people working on the COVID units,” Governor Kelly said when talking about the limited shipment of initial doses.
According to the governor, the state is expecting close to 50,000 doses to come from Moderna once the company’s vaccine is approved by the FDA, a week after Pfizer.
“We expect weekly shipments from both companies to continue going forward,” Kelly said.
The FDA is set to make moves on Pfizer’s vaccine on Dec. 10, then Moderna on Dec. 17. The CDC decided Tuesday that healthcare workers and nursing homes will be among the first to receive the vaccine.
Since Monday, Kansas has seen 4,615 new cases, bringing the total number of cases to more than 164,000. The surge in cases continues to place a strain on healthcare workers. Governor Kelly noted the zero staffed ICU beds in the southwest region of the state, and that ICU space in the southcentral region is nearly at capacity.
The governor says more cases are expected within the next two weeks as the holiday season is underway. And, although the promise of a vaccine is near, Kelly said that following virus health and safety protocols remains a top priority.
“We must all continue wearing face coverings, physically distancing, avoiding large gatherings, and practicing proper hygiene,” she said.
The governor’s initiatives to educate Kansans on the risks of the virus is underway. The “Stop the Spread” PR campaign launched last week. And the Kansas Leadership Center has committed to holding more than 750 gatherings to promote local activities to mitigate spread.