Sedgwick County vaccine clinics experiencing slowness to fill appointments

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Everyone 16 and up is now eligible to get the coronavirus vaccine in Kansas, but the Sedgwick County health director said thousands of appointments are going unfilled.

All of the appointments to get the vaccine through the Sedgwick County Health Department are full on Monday, but Sedgwick County Health Director Adrienne Byrne is asking people to not wait and sign up without further delay.

“It does concern me,” said Melissa Stephens.

Stephens said she got her second dose of the COVID 19 vaccine on Monday. She is relieved, but she is also worried not enough people in the community are getting the shot.

“There’s a real fear in some of the communities, and they don’t trust, they don’t trust the government telling them together, and I don’t blame it. It’s important that we all get vaccinated,” said Stephens.

Byrne said the county can vaccinate about 4,000 people a day, but last week, the county only vaccinated just over 4,000 people this week.

“There still must be more hesitancy than what originally was thought, because when we did a survey months ago, about 65% of the community said they would be getting vaccinated, and we’re not anywhere near there you know that number at this point,” said Byrne.

It’s a different story at GraceMed in Wichita.

CEO Venus Lee said in just 20 days, they have administered nearly 3,700 doses of the vaccine.

“When your healthcare provider tells you that you need to be vaccinated, there’s a relationship there, and so a lot of people tend to go where the relationship is,” said Lee.

Rachel Pew, who got her second dose Monday, said she is optimistic about the rollout.

“Hopefully, as time goes by, we’ll find that it was a positive thing and not a negative thing,” said Pew.

To schedule a vaccine in Sedgwick County, click here.

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