Less than half of Allen County’s residents have received the COVID-19 vaccine, according to state statistics.
About 45.86% of the county’s residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 40.94% are fully vaccinated, according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
That’s less than the state average, with 49% of Kansans receiving at least one dose and 42.5% fully vaccinated.
Confirmed cases, meanwhile, continue to rise.
Allen County’s active cases rose to 59 this week, up from 37 a week earlier. In early June, the county had no confirmed cases.
Since the pandemic began, Allen County has reported 1,389 confirmed cases and 20 deaths.
VACCINE is available to those age 12 and older.
Local health care clinics and pharmacies continue to administer the vaccine.
The Allen County Health Department is still taking appointments for those age 18 and older. The health department offers the Moderna (two doses) and Johnson & Johnson (one dose) vaccines.
There is no charge to the public to receive a vaccine.
Rebecca Johnson, director of the Southeast Kansas Multi-County Health Departments, said she would like to see vaccination rates increase but she wasn’t sure what action might be necessary to do so.
She encourages residents to seek information from the Centers for Disease Control and KDHE.
The Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas offers the Pfizer vaccine (two doses), which is approved for those age 12 and older.
OF PARTICULAR concern is the Delta variant, which is believed to be highly contagious and more likely to cause “breakthrough” infections in those that have already been vaccinated.
The vaccine, though, is believed to offer protection against serious illness, hospitalization and death. Transmissions through those who are vaccinated are still believed to be rare, Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, the director of the CDC, said.
The serious threat posed by the Delta variant, though, prompted the CDC to issue new guidance earlier this week.
Those who are vaccinated are now asked to wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of high transmission, and might choose to wear a mask in all situations, especially if they have someone in the household who is at risk or not fully vaccinated.
Those who have been vaccinated and have come into close contact with someone who may have COVID-19 should be tested three to five days after exposure, and wear a mask indoors for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result.
The CDC, along with Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, also recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status.
SOUTHEAST Kansas continues to have some of the lowest vaccination rates in the state.
Here is a list of regional counties and vaccination rates:
Anderson, 44.44% with at least one dose, 40.09% fully vaccinated.
Bourbon, 39.37%, 34.66%
Cherokee, 34.56%, 29.63%
Coffey, 49.89%, 45.38%
Crawford, 51.33%, 45.24%
Labette, 51.31%, 45.37%
Linn, 44.98% 40.36%
Montgomery, 43.72%, 38.26%
Neosho, 47.30%, 42.54%
Wilson, 43.10%, 39.50%
Woodson, 43.41%, 39.01%