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Who gets vaccine first is being debated by county and state

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – With the COVID vaccine getting closer to being distributed, it’s time to make some decisions.

“We will certainly take a look at those who work on the front lines, but there are a lot of decisions to be made,” said Adrienne Byrne, health director for Sedgwick County.

But on both the state and local levels those decisions will not be easy because the supply of covid vaccine will be limited at the start.

“This will be done In phases or groups just because there is not enough vaccine at this point to vaccinate everybody,” said Byrne.

Tom Stolz, Sedgwick County manager, says the decisions for the county will include what is working and what needs changing with the county health orders now.

“Now, we’re trying to build in. I’ll be careful with my words here, a reasonable modification to this to keep people at work and kids in school,” said Stolz.

Stolz said it’s important to keep people out and about safely during the pandemic. It’s also going to be important to be ready for the vaccine.

The county has already purchased “freezers” to be used for storage when the vaccine arrives likely later this month.

“We have purchased specialized refrigerators because the vaccine has to be kept at a very specific, cold temperature,” said Byrne.

Byrne and others at the state level are expected to continue talking things over. The state is expected to have some announcements from KDHE on Wednesday regarding COVID vaccines.

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