MISSION, Kan. (AP) — Some Kansas counties are rejecting new COVID-19 vaccine shipments or reducing their orders because of decreased demand for the drugs, worrying health officials who say mass vaccinations are the only path to a return to normalcy.
Dennis Kriesel, the executive director of the Kansas Association of Local Health Departments, said Friday that the shift occurred in the past couple weeks. The state opened up eligibility on March 29 to all residents 16 and older. That led to an increase in demand in mostly urban areas, but some rural counties already had begun to administer the vaccine to anyone of age who wanted one, Kriesel said.
Nearly four months into the vaccination effort, providers are beginning to run out of vaccine seekers even though only 35.9% of Kansas residents had been immunized as of Friday, state data shows.