TOPEKA, Kan. – Teachers in Shawnee County are getting their shots of a COVID-19 vaccine this week with hopes to give a first dose to all teachers by spring break. The vaccinations of teachers coincides with a federal allocation that will bring 1,400 weekly doses of a COVID-19 vaccine to pharmacies.
“We were always planning to get started with vaccinating that population at the same time as 65 and up,” said Shawnee County health officer Erin Locke on The Topeka Capital-Journal’s podcast. “Once we learned that we would have a greater allocation of federal into the county, we were able to increase the amount we were giving to K-12.”
Here is what you need to know.
Should I schedule my vaccination appointment with the pharmacies or Shawnee County?
Locke said there isn’t anything wrong with being on two vaccination lists. She said people should just tell other agencies that they have received a dose and they will be taken off that list.
Locke added either the pharmacy or county will schedule a second appointment after your first shot, and you shouldn’t get a first dose from one agency and a second dose from another.
How do I get on the list? What if I don’t have reliable internet connection?
Teachers in Shawnee County will work directly with the schools to schedule their shot. Others eligible in Phase 2 will have to contact two different agencies to sign up. Shawnee County has a survey to fill out that would put you on the list. Filling out the survey doesn’t schedule an appointment, but lets the health department know you are eligible and interested in receiving a vaccination.
You can also call 785-251-4949 if you don’t have internet access and would like to be on the list. Locke said the health department is also working with churches to help people express interest in an appointment.
People will have to contact the pharmacies, either Walmart, Doug’s or Dillions, to schedule an appointment.
Will vaccinating K-12 teachers slow down shots in Shawnee County?
Locke said teachers weren’t moved up from a different phase, so vaccinating them now won’t slow down the process. She added that the pharmacies are getting a federal allocation that the county didn’t previously have. The 1,400 weekly doses will be administered on top of the roughly 1,950 weekly doses the county receives from the state.