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COVID-19 vaccinations disbursed to Kiowa County health workers and first responders

Hannah Brown
Kiowa County Signal
Dr. Nizar Kibar gets a COVID-19 vaccination at KCMH.

The COVID-19 vaccine has been distributed through many parts of the world and that is the case for Kiowa County as well. The Kiowa County Health Department and the Kiowa County Memorial Hospital have shared the responsibilities of administering the vaccination. 

“Kiowa County Health and KCMH partnered together to make sure All healthcare workers, first responders, police, firefighters, and long term care residents and staff who wanted the vaccine, have received their first dose,” said Kerri Ulrich, Kiowa County Health Department Administrator. 

“The next step for the health department is to immunize the school staff and daycare workers, agriculture, grocery store employees, and other critical infrastructure.”

The Health Department initially received 30 doses and Ulrich anticipates more doses will arrive next week. The Kiowa County Memorial Hospital shared pictures on Facebook of Dr. Kibar receiving one of the first vaccines in the county. Three weeks after the first shot, a booster is given. 

Kami Ballard, the current 4th-grade teacher at Kiowa County Schools and former RN, received her first round of the vaccine on Monday.  

“I got the vaccine because it is the respectful and responsible thing to do. I also want to do my part in helping the healthcare teams and my community,” said Ballard. “I get it to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. If I can help prevent spread or save one person, then this is more than worth it.”

Many people have voiced concern over the safety of the vaccine due to how quickly it was developed, but Ballard does not share those concerns. She says she is more concerned with how many people she sees in public who think COVID-19 is political or are not taking the disease seriously. 

After receiving the vaccine, Ballard says she feels completely normal. She had some soreness at the injection site but wasn’t worried because that is typical of any vaccine she has ever received. 

Kiowa County Residents interested in receiving the vaccine can call the Health Department at 620-723-2136 to be put on the list. 

According to the CDC, there are currently two authorized vaccines; the Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine and the Moderna Vaccine. There are currently three vaccines in Phase 3 trials; the AstraZeneca Vaccine, the Janssen Vaccine, and the Novavax Vaccine.