Local health department disputes KDHE vaccine statements
LYNDON – The Osage County Health Department (OCHD) and Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) are at odds as to whether Osage County has actually received any of the COVID-19 vaccines. In multiple press releases, KDHE has gone on record touting that all Kansas counties have received vaccine allotments. This comes after a blistering media weekend where Kansas was ranked last in the nation with its vaccine rollout. Kansas has been recorded as administering 690 first doses per 100,000 residents, according to a report published by the Centers for Disease Control.
In a New York Times article, as of Dec. 31, Kansas had administered only 12,164 vaccines of the 114,850 vaccines that were sent out. In the article, Kansas was listed as being in possession of more than 50,000 vaccines in addition to that, which were not distributed.
On Dec. 31, the OCHD posted on its Facebook page, “We are aware that KDHE has stated that all 105 counties have been given COVID-19 vaccine. As of right now, Osage County Health Department does not have any vaccine and KDHE has not given us a timeframe as to when we will receive it. I do not know why KDHE has stated that all counties have been given vaccine. The Health Department has not been notified of any sites in the county that have vaccine.”
On Tuesday (Jan. 5) The Osage County Herald-Chronicle reached out to Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly’s office, seeking information about specific vaccine distribution to Osage County. Their email response stated, “Osage County has received vaccine, just not through the health department. The health department will receive their vaccines today.” The Herald-Chronicle followed up by requesting who specifically had received the vaccine in Osage County, and got no response.
Assisted living residents to be vaccinated this week
Earlier Tuesday, it was confirmed that the Cotton-O’Neil Clinics in Carbondale and Osage City, as well as Auburn Pharmacy and Schroeder Drug, have not received any allotment of COVID-19 vaccine. It was also confirmed at Brookside Retirement Community, Peterson Assisted Living, Osage Nursing Center and Vintage Park that no vaccine had been received. However, administrators at each of the facilities on Tuesday said residents would be receiving their first doses of the vaccine by the end of this week, and those vaccines would be administered by trained staff from an out-of-county CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens Pharmacy.
Late Tuesday, Osage County Health Department Director Jackie Patterson reported that a total of 60 COVID-19 vaccines had been delivered to the local health department by the end of the day, and those would be administered according to the state’s vaccine distribution plan.