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Wintry weather impacting local drive-thru vaccination efforts

Coronavirus in Kansas

SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – The frigid temperatures are causing issues with vaccination efforts for the Sedgwick County Health Department. The health department is currently vaccinating people aged 75 years and older.

Adrienne Byrne, the Sedgwick County health director, said a lot of the weather-related issues are associated with the drive-thru clinic.

“The weather just kept people from scheduling because of not wanting to get out and not being sure what was going to happen with the weather during the day,” said Byrne.

With that factor taken into consideration, the health department scaled down how many people could get vaccinated at the drive-thru.

On average, the drive-thru could vaccinate near 350 people per day, but because of the freezing temperatures, it was reduced to around 90 people.  

The health department was also able to reschedule many appointments for later this week. 

Now, the drive-thru will be processing people every other hour instead of every hour.

“So it’s still very, very cold in the bay area where they’re vaccinating people and just again, vaccinating on the off hour, one hour on, one hour off so they can, you know, go inside for a few minutes out of the cold warm-up,” said Byrne.

She said last week they changed the configuration at Intrust Arena to allow more people inside the building.

The health department reached out to community partners to assist with vaccination efforts.

“So we’re working through all of those pieces with our community partners so that we can give them more vaccine,” said Byrne. “And they can distribute to the 75 and older group.”

Byrne says if someone cancels their appointment because of the weather, that slot is quickly filled up.

“And so if we get an opening, bam, it gets filled,” she said.

If you are a Sedgwick County resident, click here for the vaccine schedule. If you are unable to schedule an appointment online, and as appointments are available, dial (316) 660-1029 to schedule an appointment over the phone.

The call center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

For more information on the Sedgwick County Health Department, click here.

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