Johnson County plans new approach with smaller vaccination clinics

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OLATHE, Kan. — The Johnson County Health Department plans to shift away from mass vaccination clinics where thousands of people receive the COVID-19 vaccine in a single day.

Last week it vaccinated 3,120 people in one day at its Lenexa location.

As more people become vaccinated, the health department said there are a large number of appointments still available. Those aren’t always being filled, even though appointments can be scheduled online.

In a week or two, the health department said it will reveal a more detailed plan about it’s approach in the future. The plan will include smaller clinics and targeted conversations with people who may be vaccine hesitant.

“We are going to be working with churches, going to be working with other organizations in the community and ensuring that those who need to be vaccinated are vaccinated. We are asking schools, junior colleges, colleges,” Dr. Sanmi Areola, Director of the Johnson County Health Department, said during a Facebook Live Monday afternoon.

The health department said the approach will be determined by what the public wants. If vaccine appointments are filled quickly at the county’s mass vaccination site in Lenexa, that site will remain open longer. If they go unfilled, the county will pivot to a different plan.

“While the need for mass vaccination clinics may not be as important as he was three, four weeks ago, there’s a lot of activities going on that we want to be clear to be sure that people understand that,” Areola said. “But there are there are appointments that are open, and people can get vaccinated right now. And the plan continues for next week.”

The health department said its goal is to vaccinate as many people as it can while making it as convenient as possible for people in Johnson County to get a vaccine.

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