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What are the phases?

As vaccines began to be distributed in Johnson County, the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE) followed the vaccine distribution guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Currently, JCDHE is vaccinating people who are 16 years of age or older.Vaccine chart

(Version of KDHE table accessible to screen readers)

The KDHE Vaccine Prioritization Plan (En español) defines the phases as:

Phase 1 | Healthcare workers: Identifying characteristics and working definition

Definition: Paid and unpaid persons serving in healthcare or healthcare-associated jobs, who are unable to work from home and may be directly or indirectly exposed to patients or infectious materials as a result of their jobs

Description: Workers with any of the following features:

  • Required to regularly enter a hospital (inpatient) or outpatient clinical setting
  • Involved in pandemic response (e.g., testing centers)
  • In a healthcare or healthcare-associated setting, in contact with patients or infectious materials

Examples of groups included:

  • Staff in long-term care facility
  • Workers in direct contact with patients, e.g., MD/DO/DPM, nurses, EMTs, clinical students and trainees
  • Diagnostic labs, phlebotomists, pandemic health workers (e.g., individuals performing COVID tests)
  • Mental healthcare providers, pharmacy staff, non-medical staff – if exposed to patients or infectious materials
  • Healthcare-associated contractors, including food, waste management etc.
  • Dentists, physical therapists, professionals performing elective procedures
  • Home care workers, CMS-designated caretaker
  • Morticians, forensic and funeral service workers
  • Staff in FQHCs, CHCs, safety-net/ free clinics, faith-based outreach clinics (inclusive of state-funded clinics)
  • Home health aides, nursing assistants

Phase 2 | High-contact critical1 workers: identifying characteristics and working definition

Definition: Workers providing critical services who are at a higher risk of being infected, because their jobs require consistent and close contact with a large number of individuals

Description:

  • Critical workers are those necessary to maintain systems, assets and activities that are vital to the state (or national) security, the economy, or public health, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security
  • Risk is associated with the likelihood of infecting oneself or spreading COVID. Factors that increase risk include proximity, type of contact, duration of contacts and challenges to implement protective measures
  • Settings that provide a critical service and have recorded high transmission rates or become clusters in the past are usually high risk

Examples of groups included:

  • Firefighters, police officers, first responders, correction officers
  • Grocery store workers and food services
  • K-12 and childcare workers, including teachers, custodians, drivers and other staff
  • Food processing, including meat processing plants
  • Large-scale aviation manufacturing plants
  • Transportation workers
  • Workers in the following industries, if they regularly need to be in high-risk settings to perform their duties:
  • Retail, warehouses and sales outlets
  • Agriculture
  • Supply of critical services or materials for the COVID response (e.g. PPE)
  • The U.S. Postal Service
  • Department of Motor Vehicles

As defined by the Department of Homeland Security


Phase 2 | Congregate settings: identifying characteristics and working definition

Definition: Anyone living or working in licensed congregate settings and other special care or congregate environments

Description: Licensed congregate settings are facilities licensed by the state or local government, that provide housing or care arrangements and where social distancing is not possible; they provide a form of social service or healthcare (or healthcare-associated) service.

  • Settings included in this phase are monitored by the state or the local government, or house vulnerable populations under care, e.g. in-home care and retirement facilities
  • Risk is increased because of:
  • Proximity, i.e., residents and staff are less than 6ft away from one another
  • Type of contact, i.e., exposure to droplets, shared surfaces, common items
  • Duration, i.e., average interactions last more than 10 min
  • Potentially high number of contacts and, sometimes, difficulties to implement protective measures

Examples of groups included:

  • Homeless shelters and other homeless housing settings and dwelling places
  • Congregate childcare institutions, adult and child protective services
  • Emergency shelters or safe houses for victims of domestic violence
  • Corrections facilities, including jails and juvenile justice facilities
  • Behavioral Health institutions (including mental health institutions) and residential treatment centers
  • Adult care homes, residents and staff in home plus facilities not covered in phase 1
  • Senior living homes
  • Home care givers (paid or unpaid), personal care aides

Phase 3 | Aged 16-64 with SEVERE medical risks: identifying characteristics and working definition

Definition: Persons aged 16–64 years with medical conditions that increase the risk for severe COVID-19

Description: Persons in the target age group who have been diagnosed with any of the conditions currently listed in the "conclusive data and information" list, provided by the CDC (see below).

Examples of groups included:

  • Currently in the list, which is regularly updated as new evidence becomes available
  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Down Syndrome
  • Heart conditions, such cardiomyopathies
  • Immunocompromised state from solid organ transplant
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Pregnant patients1

1 Vaccines currently available under EUA have not been tested in pregnant women. Therefore, there are no safety data specific to use in pregnancy. A conversation with a clinician is specially important in such cases, and individuals who decide not to take the vaccine should be supported in their decision. See ACOG recommendations for further information Sources: CDC, "Summary of Recent Changes" https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html


Phase 3 | Other critical workers1: identifying characteristics and working definition

Definition: Non-healthcare workers in critical infrastructure, who cannot perform their duties remotely and therefore face risks of work-related exposure to COVID-19

Description: Critical workers are characterized as those operating in-person to maintain systems, assets and activities that are vital to the state (or the country's) security, economy, or public health, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security

Examples of groups included:

  • Agricultural and food workers not included in previous phases
  • Workers performing in-person activities indoors, in critical manufacturing, not included in previous phases; this includes aviation, production of critical supplies for the COVID response
  • Utility workers
  • Social service and government workers not included in previous priority phases
  • Logistics workers, such as truck transportation workers, couriers and others
  • Water and wastewater workers
  • Shelter and housing (e.g., construction) workers, finance (e.g., bank tellers)
  • Information technology and communications workers

1 As defined by the Department of Homeland Security


Phase 4 | Aged 16-64 with OTHER medical risks: identifying characteristics and working definition

Definition: Persons aged 16–64 years with medical conditions that increase the risk for severe COVID-19

Description: Persons in the target age group who have been diagnosed with any of the conditions currently listed in the "conditions [that] might be at an increased risk" list, provided by the CDC (see below)

Examples of groups included:

  • CDC's second list of conditions, which include (non-exhaustive):
    • Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
    • Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)
    • Cystic fibrosis
    • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines
    • Neurologic conditions, such as dementia
    • Liver disease
    • Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues)
    • Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder)
    • Type 1 diabetes mellitus
    • Obesity and severe obesity

Vaccines currently available under EUA have not been tested in pregnant women. Therefore, there are no safety data specific to use in pregnancy. A conversation with a clinician is especially important in such cases, and individuals who decide not to take the vaccine should be supported in their decision. See ACOG recommendations for further information Sources: CDC, "Summary of Recent Changes" https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html


Phase 5 | Rest of population 16+


State plan subject to change

The state plan is subject to change. Questions about the plan can be directed to KDHE. (Please do not contact the state with Johnson County-specific questions. Those can be directed to 913-715-2819 or be [email protected]. You may also find your answer in our frequent questions.) 

For more information, visit Kansasvaccine.gov.

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Questions or concerns?

If you have questions about Johnson County’s public health recommendations, email [email protected].

If you have virus-related questions, call the Johnson County Community COVID-19 Hotline. You can also call this number if you need a safe place to quarantine or isolate.

Staffed by public health professionals.
913-715-CV19 (2819)
Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Child care licensing COVID-19 hotline

913-477-8361
Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.