City vaccinates 1,200 in its first week

By Mike Genet

The city of Independence received about 1,300 Pfizer vaccine doses to distribute this week after starting a vaccine clinic last week at Independence Center. 

Nurse Connie Jackson gives a vaccination shot to Georgia Carpenter last Friday at Independence Center.

The city is working with the Jackson County Health Department to fill appointments with eligible residents who had signed up for vaccines through the county. The county Health Department had reported weeks ago, when it was waiting for more vaccine allotments, that about 130,000 people had registered for vaccines.

Independence residents should follow the city’s social media accounts in case any appointment slots become available this week.

The city distributed all of about 1,200 doses it received last week. About 200 on Wednesday went to city employees, about 400 on Thursday mostly went to employees and city retirees, and on Friday the clinic opened to the public for the remaining 600 doses.

The city of Independence is drawing upon many volunteers, such as these checking in people wanting vaccinations, at its Independence Center clinic.

The city is using about 13,000 square feet of empty space in the mall for the clinic. In lieu of a rental fee, the city is paying the electric bill, estimated at about $1,000 for that space, for five months. Volunteers from the Medical Reserve Corps of Greater Kansas City are assisting with the clinic.

“We’re so fortunate to have the site where we are,” Independence Mayor Eileen Weir said after Friday’s clinic. “This isn’t just a bunch of folding chairs; there’s a lot of components to it, and it’s nice to be able to to leave it in place. If we had to tear it down and put it back up, it would be a huge undertaking.”

Weir said the first couple days of the vaccine clinic appeared to go smoothly, even as the numbers increased.

“We’re scheduling them before they leave for their follow-up doses,” she said. “Like everywhere else they need to get it at the same location.”