June 19, 2021
Lawrence, US 87 F
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Lawrence and Douglas County: Your COVID-19 vaccine questions answered

The race to get vaccines into arms just past the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic taking hold in the United States has ramped up of late.

On March 15, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly announced that the Sunflower State would move into Phases 3 and 4 of vaccine distribution beginning March 22, an expedited timeline from what the state originally expected. Though welcome news, it also creates more questions of when, where and how Lawrence and Douglas County residents will be able to get their turn in line.

“It has been a massive and challenging task these past few weeks as so many partners in our community have come together to vaccinate the different groups eligible in Phase 2,” Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health Director Dan Partridge said on March 18. “The progress we have made particularly at vaccinating those ages 65 and older in our community as well as so many of our high-contact critical workers is a testament to the collaboration among our community leadership and the willingness of so many volunteers to be giving of their time.”

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As vaccination information in Douglas County continues to develop and change, The Lawrence Times will keep the community updated here — in what we hope can be a singular source of all pertinent information for what we know can be a confusing process. You’ll be able to access this page anytime by visiting lawrenceks.news/vaccine.

Click on a question to expand the answer. Last updated at 7:28 p.m. Thursday, April 8.

What phase is Douglas County currently in?

Gov. Laura Kelly announced on March 26 that all Kansans ages 16 and up would be eligible to receive the vaccine effective March 29. In line with a directive from President Joe Biden, Kelly estimated that all Kansans will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on or before May 1.

However, Douglas County is still operating in the combined Phase 3/4 stage of vaccine administration. County leaders on March 26 said it would take at least until the week of April 12 to finish the Phase 3/4 combination, and that those folks would continue to be prioritized until the stage is more complete.

Who is included in the Phase 3/4 combination?

Those ages 16 through 64 with conditions that increase the risk for severe illness from COVID-19, including:

  • Cancer 
  • Down Syndrome 
  • Certain heart conditions 
  • Type 1 & 2 diabetes 
  • Pregnancy
  • Asthma
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Liver disease
  • Neurological conditions like dementia
  • Other medical risks

Other non-health care workers in critical infrastructure who cannot work remotely, including:

  • Agricultural and food workers not included in previous phases;
  • Workers performing in-person activities indoors;
  • Utility workers;
  • Social service and government workers not included in previous phases;
  • Logistics workers, such as truck transportation workers and couriers;
  • Water and wastewater workers;
  • Shelter, housing, and finance workers;
  • And information technology and communication workers.

Source: State of Kansas vaccination plan

Where can I sign up to get vaccinated?

Douglas County continues to use its Vaccine Interest Form to collect resident information and process signups.

Any resident who hasn’t completed the form is encouraged to do so, the county says. It will use your most recent form submission when randomly selecting people for future appointments.

If you’ve filled out the form but want to make sure you did so correctly, you can check that here.

For those without access to a computer, a friend or family member can submit the interest form on their behalf, and individuals can also visit the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont St., to complete the form online.

Residents can also request assistance with the form by calling the Douglas County COVID-19 Helpline, 785-864-9000, which operates 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.

Who’s been vaccinated so far?

There are currently three COVID-19 vaccines authorized for emergency use in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines both currently require a booster shot (a second dose to boost efficacy) a few weeks after the initial dose, but Johnson & Johnson’s shot only requires one dose.

As of April 8, here’s who has been vaccinated in Douglas County, and with which shot:

VaccineReceivedAdministered
Moderna Dose 110,4809,419
Moderna Dose 28,7507,265
Pfizer-BioNTech Dose 140,90537,479
Pfizer-BioNTech Dose 228,45519,729
Johnson & Johnson2,760875
Total Dose 154,14547,773
Total Dose 237,20526,994
Source: Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health

Totals are compiled from vaccines administered by Haskell Indian Health Center, Heartland Community Health Center, Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health, and Lawrence Memorial Hospital. They do not include any vaccines administered by pharmacies in Douglas County.

What about pharmacies?

Certain pharmacies in Douglas County have started receiving vaccine doses to administer, though on a lesser scale than the county’s weekly vaccination drive-thru clinics. To check for available vaccine appointments at area pharmacies, eligible residents can periodically visit these websites:

Walgreens

Dillons

CVS

Sigler Pharmacy (Interest and eligibility form, pharmacy will contact to schedule actual appointments)

I got my shot elsewhere. How do I get off the list?

Some folks have asked the Times how they can get their names taken off the list for vaccines if they’ve been able to get their shot through a pharmacy or through another county, in order to help others move through the process more efficiently.

On April 2, the county released a fillable form at this link to allow folks to remove themselves from the list.

How do I navigate the mass vaccinations at the fairgrounds?

Starting the week of April 5, the traffic pattern for those heading to the fairgrounds to get their shots will change in order to accommodate a jury trial.

Read about the route change and check out a map at this link.

Have other questions?

If there’s something you’d like The Lawrence Times to track down an answer to, please email us at hello@lawrencekstimes.com.

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