Riley County, KDHE note gaps in reported numbers of COVID-19 vaccines distributed

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AJ Dome, The Manhattan Mercury, Kan.
·3 min read
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Feb. 20—Officials from both the Riley County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment are acknowledging gaps in the reporting of total number of COVID-19 vaccines distributed to Riley County.

Local health officials said Friday 1,831 people have been fully vaccinated — meaning they've received both shots — in Riley County.

A total of 4,886 people have received at least their first dose.

That number, however, only includes the shots allotted to and distributed through the county government. It doesn't include those from private entities such as Dillons, which recently began offering vaccinations and is using a federal partnership to secure doses.

Nursing homes also were allowed to contract with pharmacy companies to give vaccines to residents and workers.

KDHE spokeswoman Kristi Zears said the agency is hoping to have vaccine data separated by counties available on its website soon.

"Due to the complexities of the systems involved, processing and reporting out data is something that takes a little bit of time to implement," she said.

Gov. Laura Kelly on Thursday announced plans to fix the state's reporting system.

The state's vaccination rate consistently ranks among the lowest in the country, and Kelly has blamed technical problems with the tracking system, called KSWebIZ. Kelly said officials are working to address underlying data transfer issues.

The state and federal governments require that vaccine providers report vaccine administration and inventory numbers on a daily basis. All providers are supposed to report that to a statewide registry, which is supposed to link to the state dashboard and the CDC dashboard.

As of Friday afternoon, the state dashboard showed that the Riley County government received 1,200 doses of the vaccine this week. Spokeswoman Alice Massimi said officials don't know how many they're going to get from week to week.

According to KDHE, 324,635 people have received their first dose of a vaccine statewide. Of those, 131,4358 also have received their second doses and are fully vaccinated.

KDHE reports 581,975 total doses have been distributed across the state. More than 466,000 of those doses were given out by the state of Kansas, while another 115,000 have been sent out through the federal pharmacy program. In total, 11.1% of Kansans have been vaccinated with one dose of either the Pfizer or the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

More than 18,000 people have submitted requests for a vaccine across all phases of distribution in Riley County.

Residents aged 65 and older, as well as 350 teachers in USD 383, received their inoculations on Friday as part of the second phase of vaccinations. Health department officials also have administered second doses of vaccinations to people who were inoculated between Dec. 22 and Jan. 25.

Zears said while about a million Kansans are eligible for vaccinations in Phase 2, all counties may not be vaccinating all the priority groups immediately because of the limited supply of vaccines. She said people should check with their local health department or their employer if their priority phase is based on employment.