By Adam Strunk
The vaccination effort in Harvey County is outpacing its peers, neighbors and state.
The State of Kansas released numbers of vaccinations per capita for each county. In Harvey County, 285 per every 1,000 residents (28.5%) have had one dose of vaccine.
“That is great,” Health Department Director Lynnette Redington said at a press conference Tuesday. “You will see a lot of surrounding counties are not up to that level.”
Actually, none of Harvey Counties neighbors are up to that level.
McPherson County is the closest with 281 vaccinations for every 1,000. Marion County is at 264, Reno 235, Butler, 190 and Sedgwick, 174.
It’s also more than the 10 counties that serve as peers to Harvey County in population size.
Statewide, 232 out of every 1,000 Kansans have had a vaccination.
Now, while this news is something to be excited about, it could also indicate that Harvey County simply has more populations that have been eligible for the first phases of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The county is now providing vaccines to those in Phases 1 through 4, as are other health providers, such as Health Ministries, Hesston Pharmacy/Harvey Drug, The Axtell Clinic and Dillons. People over 65 qualify. Those who have certain medical conditions or work essential jobs also qualify. Both terms are pretty broadly defined by the State of Kansas so for those who would like to get a shot, it would make sense to check up if they fit such a category.
Redington said, soon, the supply of vaccination is expected to match demand, meaning getting shots should be relatively easy for residents.
The county recently launched a tool that allows people to go online and schedule a time to be vaccinated.
On the infection side, active cases dropped down to 24. That’s the lowest total in Harvey County since July 28, nearly eight months ago. One resident is hospitalized.
Total cases rose by 17 during the week to 3,494. That’s also the lowest rate of case increase in a week the county has seen since mid July.