COVID-19 Vaccine in limited supply

Deanna Bonn
Times-Gazette

Virginia Ball and her son Randy Ball learned that Kansas entered the second of the COVID-19 Vaccinations Phases.

Virginia Ball logged on to the Butler County website: www.bucoks.com/covidvax in order to register for a vaccination only to learn appointment time slots were already filled.

Virginia is 95 and Randy is 71, which qualifies them to receive the vaccination under the new guidelines. Virginia Ball, a "Rosie the Riveter" committed to helping fight the pandemic in a public campaign last year.

"Together we can do it," she said.

She acted quickly to try and get vaccinated when she became eligible. 

"This is a horrible disease,” Virginia Ball said.

But when Virginia Ball logged on to the Butler County Health Department’s website to schedule their appointments, she discovered there are no upcoming appointments available. Not next week, or the week after that, not even within the next couple of months.

“Limited vaccines mean limited supply,” said Jaime Downs, Director of the Butler County Health Department,. “We are tasked with exhausting the full weekly allotment that we get so we are in the process of doing that.”

Phase 2 in Kansas includes persons aged 65+; congregate settings such as assisted living facilities and nursing homes; high contact crical workers; all unvaccinated persons prioritized in previous phases. The Butler County COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee has determined the first three priority groups for Phase 2 will be First Responders, K-12 Staff and individuals 65 years and older.

Butler County receives the Moderna vaccine and the vaccine sign-up for Butler County residents, as well as those who work in Butler County, must be completed online at the Butler County website: www.bucoks.com/covidvax

“If all goes as planned, we should get 600 vaccines a week. That’s based on supplies. Each week KDHE centrally decides the allocation of each incoming shipment to each enrolled provider,” Downs said. “Currently, the hospital receives an allotment to administer to their staff and long term care facilities receive an allotment for their residents,” said Downs.

The Health Department is the only provider able to administer the vaccine to all the other populations in Butler County. “We have 10 pharmacies and two clinics [who] requested to be a provider but we don’t know when they will come on board. We’re hoping very soon.”

Virginia Ball is a "Rosie the Riveter" who is committed to helping fight the pandemic. "Together we can do it," she said.

In a statement, the Butler County Health Department said, “We have only so much vaccine. If the appointment slots are filled keep checking back to see if more have been added. The following week's appointment slots will open as we are notified of vaccine shipments. We will get everyone vaccinated that wants it but it will take time. We request your patience as we move through this process.” Ball and her son intend to keep checking back each week until they are able to get vaccinated. Both have recently recovered from having COVID-19 and want to be vaccinated as soon as possible to prevent a possible reinfection. “