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Seward County community works toward equality in vaccinations

Coronavirus in Kansas

LIBERAL, Kan. (KSNW) – The race to vaccinate continues, and in one western Kansas community, officials are making it easier for people to get vaccinated. 

Access and opportunity are at the forefront of minds for those organizing and volunteering at vaccine clinics in Seward County.

According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), Seward County has vaccinated roughly one-third of its population, that is, people with at least one shot.

Helping drive that number is equality in vaccinations.

“We definitely don’t want to have barriers within the community and healthcare,” said Julie Foster, Genesis Family Health Clinic Manager.

The United States Census Bureau found that nearly 54 percent of the county’s largest city, Liberal, speaks Spanish.

Seeing the need, the Seward County Health Department has offered bilingual translators, informational handouts, and online resources 100 percent in Spanish.

“We’re very open to any questions people may have, concerns, or fears about the vaccine,” Leticia Arredondo, Seward County Health Department.

The entire vaccination process can be carried out in the community’s primary language.

“It’s very important that whenever we are giving the information to them, that they understand it,” said Evelyn Aragon, Seward County Health Department.

Another big-ticket accommodation is transportation.

The City of Liberal has busses running to and from the county’s vaccination site completely free of charge.

“I understand it’s new, it’s scary for a lot of people. So we want to decrease the stress it’s already putting on the community,” said Foster.

The county has also gained assistance from the Kansas Army National Guard. Currently, the county’s vaccination site is running with the help of two vaccine teams.

Officials say the community collaboration has made these essential accommodations possible.

“All of us are coming out to our local communities knowing that the more we help here, the better it is for our families at home,” said Lt. Col. Gleb Gluhovsky, Kansas Army National Guard.

Vaccines are available for everyone 18 years and older, and no appointment is needed. The county’s vaccination site is located at the Seward County Activity Center, 810 Stadium Avenue.

The shots given will be Moderna and the vaccination site will be open Tuesday, April 13 through Thursday, April 15.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the site will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. On Thursday, the site will stay open later and will run from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

For the bus rides call, 620-626-2211.

For more information, contact the Seward County Health Department at 620-626-3369.

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