Mayor Lucas announces task force to oversee COVID-19 vaccine roll-out
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas announced his appointments to Kansas City’s Covid-19 Vaccine Task Force. The task force is intended to ensure the COVID-19 vaccine process is completed in an efficient and equitable manner.
Lucas says the appointments to the task force reflect Kansas City’s government partnership with Truman Medical Centers, St. Luke’s Hospital System, Research Medical Center, and federally qualified health centers such as Swope Health Services.
“Over the past several weeks and months, I have met with hospitals and healthcare leaders across Kansas City to see the vaccination process, and to encourage increased health institution collaboration city and region-wide to protect our community,” says Lucas.
The task force has organizational and operational support from Kansas City-based engineering, architecture, and construction firm Burns and McDonnell according to Lucas.
Lucas wants to ensure all Kansas Citians are provided adequate and equal opportunities to protect themselves, their families, and the Kansas City community. He says Kansas City is working to vaccinate vulnerable populations as quickly as possible. Lucas wants those without regular internet access to be able to determine where and how to get vaccinated.
Lucas says to expect further action related to mass vaccination events accessible by public transit and ensuring schools can reopen safely. The number of vaccines on hand and administered is also supposed to become more transparent to Kansas Citians.
“For many Kansas Citians, particularly in our Black and brown communities, the rate at which we are able to offer vaccines is the difference between life and death,” says Lucas. “I have directed the COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force to begin meeting immediately and to work with each other and their respective regional leading institutions to provide a transparent plan to most quickly and equitably inoculate our community, with particular emphasis on communities and zip codes that have been most devastated by the pandemic.”
Approximately 145 per 100,000 Hispanic or Latinx Kansas Citians have lost their lives to Covid-19 this past year while 50 white Kansas Citians per 100,000 have lost theirs. The vaccine distribution will reflect where the most Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths have occurred to mitigate community spread as quickly as possible.
At least 147 new coronavirus cases were reported with an average of 1,062 cases per day in Kansas on February 2 according to the New York Times. In Missouri, 1,612 new cases were reported with an average of 1,564 cases per day on February 2.
“Every loss is one too many and with the vaccine, is preventable,” says Lucas.
Kansas City Covid-19 Vaccine Task Force
- Renita Mollman, Chair – Burns & McDonnell, Chief Administrative Officer
- Dr. Rex Archer – Kansas City Health Department, Director of Public Health
- Dr. Valerie Chow – Truman Medical Centers, Retired Anesthesiologist
- Kathryn Knotts – Truman Medical Centers, Director of Government Relations
- Dr. Olevia M. Pitts – Research Medical Center, Chief Medical Officer
- Jeron Ravin – Swope Health Services, President and Chief Executive Officer
- Diane Trimble – St. Luke’s Hospital System, Chief Nursing Officer