Flu-vaccine shortage causing delays in Pottawatomie County


Flu Vaccine Shortage

Residents of Pottawatomie County wanting to get a flu vaccine through the county’s health department may have to wait a little while.

Pottawatomie County Health Director Lisa Kenworthy told the Pottawatomie County Commission during their meeting Monday morning that the county currently has a shortage of flu vaccines, but they are not the only ones.

“It (the flu vaccine) goes to the CDC after it’s been manufactured,” Kenworthy said. “The CDC, after their testing, then releases the lots and once those lots — numbers are released, then they distribute it. And so there’s kind of been a hold up. We have reached out to different manufacturers so we kind of have a variety of flu vaccines.  We’re not the only one. I mean, it’s every single person that does flu vaccines.”

Kenworthy says that due to the shortage and not yet receiving the full shipment of vaccines that was requested, there is a wait list. Those on the wait list will be notified when the rest of the shipment comes in, which Kenworthy says should be around mid-November.

The county is currently out of high-dose vaccines and VFCs, or Vaccines For Children, which are for children under 18 who either have Medicaid or state insurance.

In other Pottawatomie County Commission news:

LTR 42 Bridge Replacement Project on Calhoun Road

The Pottawatomie County Commission decided to go with Ebert Construction out of Wamego for the LTR42 Bridge Replacement Project on Calhoun Road. Ebert Construction submitted a bid of about $219,000.

Peter Clark, the public works director for Pottawatomie County, said Ebert construction originally indicated they could begin work on the project in May of 2020 with a timeline of up to 130 calendar days for completion, but eventually agreed to begin work mid-November and end around late March or early April.

“The concrete-box culvert, some experience with those is they don’t take a terribly long time to do, but the flexibility that Ebert is looking for with that price is how they feel about this project,” Clark said. “It would be basically work that they could move back and forth to when they’re not doing other items on other bridges in the area.”

Commissioners Travis Altenhofen and Dee McKee voted in favor of awarding the construction contract to Ebert Construction. Pat Weixelman abstained from voting due to Ebert Construction being owned by his son-in-law.

Bids were originally accepted for this project in September, but none came in at a low enough price. The project was rebid last Monday.

Pottawatomie County Courthouse

Kansas Historical Society Cultural Resources Division Director Patrick Zollner spoke at the Pottawatomie County Commission meeting Monday about the county’s 133-year-old courthouse that was put on the National Register of Historic Places in January of 2018.

Zollner answered questions from the commission about the different options for what can be done with the courthouse and also named some of the financial benefits of having a building on the historic site register.

One such benefit is access to transferable tax credits on money spent on qualified-building rehabilitation.

“Basically, you have to spend a minimum of $5,000 and let’s just say that you were to spend $10,000 or if we want to say $100,000 on the building that’s qualified rehabilitation,” Zollner said. “Let’s say you spend $100,000, you would get a state of Kansas tax credit for $25,000 which you would then have to sell or transfer.”

Another financial benefit is access to grant funds through the Kansas Historical Society.

“You are eligible to apply for our Heritage Trust Fund grant program that is a grant up to $90,000,” Zollner said. “It’s an 80/20 match. It is very competitive. We give out anywhere from $800,000 to over a million each year.”

Among those in attendance were members of the Citizens for Courthouse Conservation group, which was formed in 2017. For more information about this group, visit historicpottawatomiecountycourthouse.org.



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