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Officials apologize for vaccine logistics after older residents had to stand outside


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    SHAWNEE, Kansas (KMBC) — Officials in Johnson County, Kansas, apologized and pledged to improve logistics for its Phase 2 COVID-19 vaccine rollout after many older residents had to wait in line outside on a cold day.

“We apologize for the situation today where residents, especially senior citizens, had to spend time outside in line on a cold day before making it inside the building where we were giving COVID-19 vaccinations. This afternoon we have been making plans to improve this experience beginning tomorrow,” a statement said on the county’s Facebook page.

There were long lines as hundreds of people showed up to get their COVID-19 vaccine. The county’s health department moved to phase 2 in the state’s vaccination plan.

“The parking lot was very slick,” one man said. “I did drop my mother off and put her in line with a walker. Not everybody has somebody that can assist them to walk through the line or keep from slipping on the ice. I don’t think they took that into account.”

The Mid-America West Sports Complex in Shawnee hosted the vaccine clinic. KMBC viewers sent in images, saying there is room for improvement in the process.

“I thought maybe we could have facilitated better inside with seating,” said “They did try to accommodate as well as they could,” said Kristy Coonfield.

The Johnson County health department began this phase with those 80 and older, as well as education, food, agriculture and child care professionals. Emergency responders are also included.

“I’m not as scared about the side effects of the vaccine for me, I’m more scared of if I’m a silent carrier and it’s going to a family member or somebody who is going to be very affected from the virus,” Coonfield said.

Patricia Foster said that she brought her 93-year-old mother to the clinic for a simple reason.

“Because we do not want to lose her,” Foster said.

The pair have been isolated for nearly a year. They said they hope the vaccine will bring them one step closer to connecting again.

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