MISSION, Kan. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly announced Friday that anyone in Kansas age 16 or older will be allowed to get a coronavirus vaccine starting Monday because the state expects to get enough of the medicine to speed up its inoculation process for the second time in two weeks.
Kelly’s announcement means the state will enter the fifth and final phase of its vaccine distribution. The move to make vaccines available to another 400,000 people comes after weeks of criticism from Republicans in the GOP-controlled Legislature that the effort is not moving quickly enough and not organized enough for people to easily learn where and when they can get shots.
Kansas on Monday began allowing vaccinations for people with chronic medical conditions that leave them more at risk of serious complications or death from a COVID-19 infection. Kelly said it was possible because the state expected 100,000 doses next week of the single-shot vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson. But the state health department announced Wednesday that manufacturing issues meant Kansas will receive only 16,500 of those doses on time.