Crawford County reaches 10% threshold of COVID-19 vaccinations
PITTSBURG, Kan. — According to numbers released by the Crawford County Health Department last week, 3,843 people have received at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Crawford County, with 4,083 total doses having been administered.
With over 3,800 individuals receiving at least the first dose, that means roughly ten percent of the county’s population — which was roughly 38,818 as of 2019 — has been vaccinated and is now protected from the virus.
According to Public Health Officer Dr. Timonthy Stebbins, the goal is to get 70 percent of the county vaccinated so herd immunity can be achieved. However, progress towards that goal is moving slowly as distribution issues at the state and federal level have limited the number of doses the county can get.
“We are giving everything we’re getting,” Stebbins said at the Crawford County Commission meeting last Friday, “and that’s the main thing we want the public to know.”
In addition to trouble getting doses, Crawford County health officials are also finding that Pittsburg, and the county as a whole, is becoming the hub of vaccine distribution for the entire southeast Kansas region.
Stebbins said he expects in the end the number of vaccinations given in Crawford County to greatly exceed the number of people recorded as Crawford County residents in the census.
“It’s going to test the capacities for all of our systems,” Stebbins said. “But we have the capability.”
Stebbins said officials are happy to give anyone who qualifies their vaccine and that surrounding counties like Bourbon and Cherokee are only receiving 100 doses a week.
“We have the capacity to give,” he said. “If they meet phase two criteria, they get it.”
Last week 600 residents received their first dose of the vaccine at drive-up facilities around Pittsburg. More people are expected to receive doses this week, and, according to Stebbins, officials plan to begin vaccinating teachers and school staff this week as well.
Jordan Meier is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org