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COVID vaccine providers report trouble filling appointments even with more eligibility



TOPEKA, Kan. – The COVID-19 vaccine is now available to anyone over the age of 16 in Kansas but providers report appointments are going unfilled.

Stormont Vail Health has been noticing the trend and they are trying to figure out the cause.

“We have seen a little bit of a softening up of demand since we moved into phase five which is ironic because that’s the largest group we’ve got out there,” said Ron Campbell, Stormont’s Director of Clinic Revenue Cycle.

“We think in some cases folks might be waiting to see if there may be other people who may need the vaccine more than they do and people may not realize we’ve moved into phase five and if that’s the case your time is now.”

Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Manhattan is seeing a similar pattern.

Bob Copple, the hospital’s president has his own theory.

“Some reluctance by some people and it’s been disappointing the amount of misinformation that’s been pushed out by some social media folks to dissuade people from getting vaccinated,” he said.

Both are concerned about the effect resistance will have on herd immunity.

“We hope patients have had the opportunity now to catch their breath to think about it to make a good decision and to go forward and to get the vaccine there’s been a lot of questions, this vaccine is new and there might be some hesitancy,” Campbell said.

“As healthcare professionals, we gotta help people understand also how important this is we get the high number of people vaccinated,” Copple said.

“Quite honestly, if we’re at 50 percent vaccination, while that’s good, it’s insufficient.”

As signs of pre-pandemic life return both are pushing vaccination as a way to make sure it can be enjoyed.

“As we look at the pandemic and what’s happened the vaccine is the fastest way back to get to normal for all of us and we really want to encourage everyone to take those steps,” Campbell said.

“I think it’s the simplest thing any of us can do to provide ourselves some protectin from COVID and in doing that provide protection for the people we care about,” Copple said.