Vaccine windfall at CHC/SEK opens door for more shots

The Iola clinic received 500 doses Tuesday, and will continue to do so on a weekly basis as long as the demand exists.

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March 3, 2021 - 10:05 AM

Photo by NAID / TNS

Thanks to a windfall of 4,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas will begin immediately scheduling appointments at all of its clinics, including Iola’s at 2051 N. State.

The clinic can expect to receive similar shipments on a weekly basis as long as a demand exists. Iola’s clinic received 500 doses on Tuesday. Vaccinations with the new shipment will begin Thursday.

The vaccinations are free and recipients are not required to live in Allen County nor must they be CHC patients.

The clinic is currently taking appointments for those who qualify for Stage 2, which include food service employees, those who work in congregate settings, those 65 and older, and those whose jobs require them to interact with others. For a full list, click here.

A phone line has been dedicated to schedule appointments for the vaccine. Call 866-888-8650 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week. For Spanish, call 620-240-8940 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Based in Pittsburg, the CHC/SEK has 18 clinics based primarily in Southeast Kansas, including Iola. 

“This is a gift to the people of Southeast Kansas,” said Krista Postai, president and CEO of CHC/SEK.  “With almost 20% of our population over 65, the ability to reach out to provide this potentially life-saving vaccine is probably one of the most important initiatives in our history.” 

“Based on the calls we’ve been receiving, we know many people are eager to get vaccinated and are afraid they’ll be overlooked because they live in rural Kansas,” Postai said. “It is so wonderful to tell them they’ve actually been prioritized nationally.” 

CHC/SEK is one of 250 health centers nationally selected to receive a direct supply of the COVID-19 vaccine to ensure underserved communities are equitably vaccinated, Postai said.

“We know these vaccines are safe and highly effective against a very serious disease,” Postai said. “Now that they have become available to us, CHC/SEK is ready to get them delivered into the arms of our communities.”

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