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Share the vaccine
The coronavirus knows no borders
Life on the Ark.jpg

Those of us who fall into the Phase 2 category for COVID-19 vaccination are ready to bare our arms and take our shots.

Unfortunately, for many Barton County residents that’s been about as easy as winning the lottery. For three weeks, we’ve seen drive-through clinics that allowed 300 people to go through. This week, the number rose to 400, plus 190 more offered first to people ready for their second dose. That’s just a fraction of the number that want the vaccine. So far, to be one of the 300-400, you had to arrive hours early and wait in line. One Great Bend woman reported being at the Expo for six hours.

Those who arrived too late – with 300 ready arms ahead of them – didn’t have to wait because they were turned away. But first, they claim to have noticed vehicles from outside Barton County being part of the “in” crowd.

People are understandably on edge. We like the suggestion that the county should let people sign up for their spot in line. This would require some additional steps, such as letting people know when it’s their turn and figuring out how to handle missed appointments. With a group of 300 or more people, there are bound to be a few. But the Moderna vaccine being administered has strict storage requirements and we don’t want any of it to go to waste. Maybe our RSVP/Volunteers in Action could help with a registry? From what County Administrator Phil Hathcock said at this week’s Barton County Commission meeting, the county is working on something but there’s nothing concrete to report yet.

Then there’s the concern that out-of-county residents are reportedly getting vaccinated in Barton County. County Health Director Karen Winkelman’s response is, “It’s real important we don’t stop at the county line.” If a few doses of the vaccine go to people who live outside of Barton County, they may have jobs here. If not, they may have to fill up their gas tank here and buy a meal at a restaurant if they spend six hours in line. Think of it as economic development.

Do not think of the doses that arrive in Barton County as “our” vaccine. We need people from the surrounding counties and beyond to also be vaccinated. The same reasoning applies to other nations.

When it comes to viral spread, we really are all in this together.