FHSU faculty and staff qualify for vaccine roll-out

BY CORIE LYNN

Vaccines fighting the COVID-19 virus have rolled out across the state of Kansas.

According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, 185,010 individuals have been vaccinated across the state, 300 of which were recorded in Ellis, Co.

These vaccines are being distributed in phases, the first of which concentrated on distributing to healthcare workers, residents of long-term care facilities and workers critical to pandemic response.

Now, Kansas is navigating the second phase of vaccination roll-out.

“The [Ellis] county health department has decided that on-campus faculty and staff fall under Phase 2 as ‘high-contact critical workers,’” said Fort Hays State University Chief Communications Officer, Scott Cason.

While FHSU personnel are in the process of receiving their vaccines, other individuals who qualify for the second phase include high-contact critical workers like postal workers, first responders and childcare workers.

According to Cason, the general population of FHSU students will have to wait until the later roll-out phases to receive their vaccines.

“We know we have some students who work on campus in situations that require them to be in close contact with others,” he said. “We want to make sure vaccinating these members of our campus community is a priority as well.”

In fact, the KHDE data shows that only 5.8% of Kansans in the 18-24 age group have received vaccines so far.

With the general population of Kansas having to wait to receive their vaccine until Phase 5 of the roll-out, students will have more waiting to do.

In the meantime, critical workers and individuals with medical risks will receive vaccines in Phases 3 and 4.

“The way the rollout is going now, it will take significant time for the campus community to receive the vaccine,” Cason said.

Even so, Cason said that he has applied to make FHSU a vaccine distribution site. If and when this application will be approved or denied is unclear.

Though much of the FHSU community has to wait before they can receive the vaccine, those who qualify for Phase 2 can register for their vaccine online.

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