GCH now has booster shots available for people who have received their COVID-19 vaccinations and who are eligible to receive boosters.

According to GCH Marketing Director Ashley King, the booster shots have been made available to those who want them.

People who are immune-compromised can receive a doctor’s order and be allowed to receive a booster vaccine.

King said she believes the State of Kansas will roll out phases for the boosters in the near future as it did with the initial vaccinations.

King encourages people to receive booster shots as they come available.

There has been a surge of the COVID-19 delta variant in Geary County in the last few weeks with about four people dying of the virus at GCH in the past two weeks.

King said it was hard to gauge the severity of the recent surge of delta cases, but that the most recent surge seemed more apt to kill the unvaccinated people who have ended up hospitalized with the virus at GCH.

“It’s really hard to tell because the way our deaths are accounted for are really the deaths that our hospital knows about and relays that information to the health department,” King said. “I would imagine there’s probably more deaths than our county is reporting just because they won’t know that they happen — if someone does at home or if someone dies in another hospital in Wichita or Kansas City but reside in Geary County — that death might not be reported to our local health department. It’s definitely been worse in our facility this time around with deaths than in the previous round.”

King believes this can be attributed to the delta variant causing more severe illness, an severity which can be lessened if someone is vaccinated before catching the virus.

Unvaccinated people, however, deal with the full brunt of the virus.

She encourages people to keep taking precautions and to receive their vaccinations, including their booster shots when they become eligible to receive them.

“I think people should continue wearing masks and social distancing and hand sanitizing is still important,” King said. “Even if you’re vaccinated you can still get COVID — that’s being proven with this delta strand. So if you continue to wear your masks, then your chances are slimmer of getting COVID.”

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