Sedgwick County commissioners push for high-risk residents to get vaccines

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan (KSNW) – Sedgwick County is currently vaccinating residents 65 years and older. Commissioners want to make a change to that requirement, but they need the state’s permission to do so.

On Wednesday, the commission voted unanimously to write a letter to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. They are pushing the state to move up those who are at high risk for COVID 19 into Phase 2.

“We all really strongly agree with this one,” said Sedgwick County Commissioner Pete Meitzner.

A flood of emails is pushing commissioners to add high-risk people to Phase 2 of COVID-19 vaccines.

Emails from Sedgwick County residents like Shelly Hanna, who is 61 and has liver disease.

“It would be one less worry for some of us who are already going through a lot with our own diseases, one less worry to help us,” said Hanna.

Hanna said every time she leaves her home, she fears for her life.

“In the last three days, I have had blood work done, had X-rays done, and I’ve been to the doctor twice, and I still have to go to the grocery store and places like that and I’m trying my best to be safe,” said Hanna.

Even Hanna’s doctor said she needs the vaccine.

“I have a letter from my doctor, actually he wrote me a letter where he says if you can find it anywhere to get it. I will give you this letter,” said Hanna.

“Physicians who are not in the committee have called me and said they are anxious to get a number of their patients vaccine and how to go about that, and I’ve explained them the same way as soon as we are allowed to move into that phase we will certainly get those to the top,” said Sedgwick County Health Officer Dr. Garold Minns.

Commissioners plan to mail the letter by the end of the day Wednesday. They do not know how long it will take for the state to respond.

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