Nearly a quarter of Reno County residents vaccinated for COVID-19

John Green
The Hutchinson News
The graphic shows the per capita rate, or number per 1,000 people, within each zip code in the county that have received a COVID-19 vaccine, and how many people in each area per capita were confirmed positive for the virus. [Data from Reno County Health Department]

Reno County officials reported Wednesday that more than 15,000 residents in the county have now received COVID-19 vaccinations.

That is just over 24% of the county’s total population who have received at least one dose of the three varieties of vaccine that have been made locally available.

More than 13,000, or 87% of the vaccinations, were administered to non-Hispanic white residents. The data shows about 23% of the Caucasian population has received at least one shot, according to the Reno County Health Department COVID-19 dashboard.

White, non-Hispanics make up 84% of the county’s population, according to 2019 census estimates.

The next largest group, by ethnicity, was 654 shots given to people identifying as Hispanic, and then 322 among Blacks.

The per capita vaccination rate by ethnicity, however, shows Hispanics trail all others. That, despite having the highest per capita COVID-19 infection rate in the county.

It’s likely some of the disparity is related to the ages of people in those populations, since state guidelines for administering the vaccine, drawn from federal recommendations, initially limited who could get the shot.

Data was not readily available, however, showing local age breakdowns for Hispanics.

Based on those guidelines, only healthcare workers and those aged 65 and older were initially allowed to receive the vaccine. That was opened to critical workers and those in congregate living on March 9, and then to other workers on March 22.

The county’s data shows a per capita vaccination rate among Hispanics of 101 vaccines administered per 1,000 residents. That compares to a rate of almost 233 per capita among whites, and between 150- and 170 per-1,000 people for every other race.

While Hispanics make up only 8.6% of all local confirmed infections, on a per capita basis, they have the highest per capita number at 90.2 cases per 1,000 residents.

By comparison, non-Hispanic whites, who account for just under 60% of all confirmed COVID-19 cases in the county, have an infection rate of 78.7 per 1,000 people, while Blacks are at 49.8.

Residents over age 65 account for 53.5% of those receiving vaccine doses so far, with the 65-69 category the largest single group, accounting for 15% of the total.

On a per-capita basis, those aged 75-79 had the largest percentage of people in the age group who received shots at just over 66%, while those aged 85 and older had the lowest participation of the “over 65” category, at just over 55%.

Numbers by Zip Code

By zip code, the northern half of Hutchinson had the highest total number of vaccinations, the highest per capita vaccination rate, and the highest number of total COVID-19 cases, although it ranked second, behind South Hutchinson, in per capita infection rate.

The data shows just under 7,300 first-doses administered to those living within the 67502 zip code, with about 31.5% of residents vaccinated.

That part of the city reported 2,576 confirmed COVID-19 cases, and a per capita infection rate of 111.41 cases per 1,000 residents.

The 67501 zip code had the second-highest total number of both vaccinations, at 4,810, and confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 2,445. But it ranked fifth in the county for its per capita infection rate, and falls to 8th on the per capita vaccine distribution, with under 19%. 

South Hutchinson, which had a couple of outbreaks at a nursing home, had the highest per capita rate of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the county, with 158.4 cases per 1,000 residents.

It was second behind Hutchinson for its per capita vaccination rate, with 29.6% of its population vaccinated. 

Buhler was fourth in the total number of COVID cases in the county with 522, and fifth on its per capita rate, with 263. It also ranked fourth in the number of vaccinations administered, though it is third on a per capita basis.

Plevna, which had the fewest number of cases among the 13 zip codes in the county that recorded more than five cases, was sixth in terms of the per capita infection rate. It ranked fourth in the county, however, behind Buhler, on its per capita inoculation rate.

Turon ranks third in the county for its per capita confirmed infection rate, with 29.1% of the population in its zip code having had COVID-19.

However, the number of residents vaccinated there ranks it as 10th, and it falls to 14th on a per capita basis.