JCDHE working to overcome vaccination hesitancy in Johnson County

According to the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention vaccination data, 15% of Johnson County residents are estimated to be hesitant to get the COVID-19 vaccine. This compares to:

  • Wyandotte County – 22%
  • Sedgwick County – 20%
  • Shawnee County – 20%
  • Douglas County – 18%
  • Jackson County, Mo. – 15%

Johnson County is taking many steps to overcome vaccination hesitancy, including reaching out to various community groups and faith-based organizations, providing education and outreach and communicating about the benefits of the vaccine on social media.

Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE) continues expanded COVID-19 vaccination hours that includes evening and weekend availability. JCDHE also hosted our first walk-in hours this week. There are many appointments available in our community. JCDHE encourages those eligible people to get a vaccine. More details on clinic hours are listed below.

Currently, JCDHE data show that 43% of the total eligible (16 years of age and older) Johnson County population has had at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, and 29% of the total eligible Johnson County population is fully immunized.

The CDC data show that 30.1% of the total county population are fully vaccinated. The difference in reporting is due to the fact that the CDC is able to compile data from other states, including Missouri. 

“Please take advantage of all the opportunities to get this life-saving vaccine,” said Dr. Sanmi Areola, JCDHE director. “The vaccine is safe, effective and very easy and convenient to get.”

The following is Johnson County’s vaccination plan for the week of April 26, which includes Phases 1 through 5. This is in accordance with the updated Kansas Department of Health and Environment Vaccination Plan. If the allotted doses for next week do not arrive, these plans are subject to change.

  • Phases 1 – 5 – JCDHE will provide first doses for those eligible for Phases 1 -5 at the Lenexa vaccination site. Appointments at the Lenexa clinic will be 9 a.m. – 7 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday (April 27-29), and 9 a.m. – noon, on Saturday (May 1). Walk in hours are available Tuesday through Thursday (April 27-29) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Johnson County hospital systems – AdventHealth, Menorah, Overland Park Regional, Olathe Health, KU-Med and St. Luke’s Hospital offer vaccinations to those in Phases 1-5. Links to their websites are available.
  • Federal Pharmacy Retail Program https://vaccinefinder.org for additional information.

Use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine distribution is currently paused, once a decision is made about this vaccine, JCDHE will provide an update.

JCDHE is taking the following actions to ensure vaccination equity:

  • Those with transportation needs. JCDHE will continue to offer transportation to a vaccine clinic for those needing it. This service was provided to 40 residents. This service can be requested by calling 913-715-2819.
  • Homebound population: JCDHE’s Outreach Nurses had utilized the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to those who are homebound. To date, they have administered the vaccine to 202 individuals. This will be paused until a decision is made about resuming the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. This service can be requested by calling 913-715-2819.
  • Vaccinations in homeless shelters, those staying in other shelters and other highly impacted populations will continue as needed and vaccine availability. JCDHE is working with community partners to offer these vaccinations.
  • Vaccinations of residents who have an intellectual or developmental disability are completed through Johnson County Developmental Supports and Heartland Homecare Services. More than 1,400 people have been vaccinated.

JCDHE is automatically scheduling Pfizer second-dose appointments three weeks after the first vaccine and four weeks after the Moderna vaccine for the same day and time. More information is available on our second-dose webpage.

We will keep the public updated on next week’s plans and the status of our dose allotment at jocogov.org/covid-19-vaccine.

Those with questions about vaccinations can contact [email protected] or by phone at 913-715-2819.

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