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Thousands preregistered, doses on the way as Ellis County sets up mass vaccination clinic

Coronavirus in Kansas

HAYS, Kan. (KSNW) – As phase two vaccinations roll out, Ellis County announced it will be taking steps toward vaccinating the masses both efficiently and effectively.

The first phase of vaccines brought struggles of staffing, space, flow, and parking to many in the Ellis County medical community.

“It was having a negative impact on staffing our clinic and as well as trying to administer doses, and so we knew that wasn’t sustainable,” said Bryan Brady, CEO of First Care Clinic.

To overcome those obstacles in phase two, the local medical community — Ellis County Health Department, First Care Clinic, HaysMed, part of the University of Kansas Health Systems — along with Big Creek Crossing Mall have partnered to open a large-scale vaccination site where the entire county can get vaccinated as doses become available.

“It’s a vial of hope. This is hopefully where we can give that to people, where we can push that out in large numbers,” said Jason Kennedy, Ellis County Health Services Director.

First Care Clinic is coordinating the site while also working with area health care partners to handle staffing. The local sheriff’s office has offered security services as well.

The site is located in the old Gordmans building on the north side of the mall where the property manager has donated the space rent-free. The county will only have to pay utilities.

“We do see this as a very very important step to getting our way of life out here back on track,” said James Younger, Commercial Property Manager, Big Creek Crossing Mall.

The clinic has received 3,000 pre-registered vaccination requests, but no doses are on hand at the moment. Officials report 300 doses should arrive by Monday or Tuesday.

“So our goal is no matter what that amount of dose is, is to scale to the point that we can get those all done and get them out because protecting the community is our number one goal,” said Kennedy.

Officials say they want to get patients in and out in under 30 minutes and vaccinate as many people as possible.

Many healthcare workers say it’s a proactive step in the right direction.

“Just having the opportunity for our county to be able to administer vaccines to the public is a great opportunity and well-needed,” said Annie Kaiser, R.N.

While others stress, it may be a step toward reaching normalcy.

“This is the first we’ve seen with a light at the end of the tunnel with COVID,” said Kennedy.

To sign-up to get vaccinated, go to the county’s website and fill out a registration form. The county will then contact you by text or email with an appointment time. The email or text will come from firstcareclinic@ustartcheckin.com.

Keep in mind, the site is following the state’s vaccination priority levels and will have a limited number of doses.

For more information on if you qualify for phase two vaccinations, click here.

For more information on the process of registering to get vaccinated, click here.

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