All Kansas adults are now eligible for a COVID-19 booster. Here's what you need to know.

Andrew Bahl
Topeka Capital-Journal
All Kansans 18-years-old and older are now eligible for COVID-19 booster shots, Gov. Laura Kelly and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment said Wednesday.

All Kansans 18 years and older are now eligible for COVID-19 booster shots, Gov. Laura Kelly and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment announced Wednesday. 

Kansas joins a growing list of states who are opting to allow all adults to get boosters provided they already have been vaccinated, even as the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have not formally endorsed that step. 

A move from the FDA to recommend a similar step is expected later this week, The New York Times reports.

More:How do Kansas counties rank on COVID vaccination, case and test rates? See the rankings.

“The COVID-19 vaccine is free, safe, effective, and the best way to keep our communities protected from this virus,” Kelly said in a statement. “Expanding access to booster shots will help us put an end to this deadly pandemic. Whether you are considering your first shot or signing up for a booster, I urge everyone to get the facts and get vaccinated.”

Previously, only individuals 65 years and older, those with underlying health conditions and workers employed in settings at a high-risk for COVID-19 transmission were eligible for the shots.

Now, an individual must be 18 years or older and six months removed from their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccinations or two months removed from receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 

The person also should be someone who works with the public or lives with someone who works with the public, lives in an area with high community transmission of COVID-19, experiences social inequality or experiences other factors that puts them at risk of the virus.

Vaccine providers are asked to let residents determine whether they meet these categories.

More:State-backed community, business COVID-19 testing to continue into 2022 under funding plan

All Kansas counties have high transmission of COVID-19

Currently, all 105 counties in Kansas are deemed to be experiencing high transmission of COVID-19, according to the CDC. 

CDC director Rochelle Walensky also signed off on allowing clinics and doctors to mix-and-match vaccine types. That means someone who got the Moderna vaccine the first time around could now get the Pfizer booster, for instance.

Residents in Shawnee County have a variety of options for getting the booster, including the Shawnee County Health Department and Stormont Vail Health.

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A variety of private pharmacies and stores have open vaccine appointments throughout Kansas, including Dillons, Hy-Vee, CVS, Wal-Mart and Walgreens. A list of providers is available at vaccine.gov, the federal COVID-19 vaccine tracker tool.

Andrew Bahl is a senior statehouse reporter for the Topeka Capital-Journal. He can be reached at abahl@gannett.com or by phone at 443-979-6100.