Even as Kansas remains far from reaching the coveted public health standard of herd immunity against COVID-19 — essentially starving off the virus because it runs out of vulnerable bodies — more than 60 counties just turned down their weekly allotment of vaccine doses.
Not long ago, local health officials struggled to get enough doses for people clamoring for protection in a pandemic. Now they’re straining to get people willing to take their shots — and sorting out how to make the most of doses given out to smaller groups.
Consider Barton County in central Kansas. It’s named for Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross. So far, it’s given at least one dose of the vaccine to about 30% of its adults compared to 36.4% across the state.