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Who’s Getting Vaccinated In Kansas City, Missouri? Many People Who Don’t Live There, New Report

Outside Truman Medical Center on Charlotte Street.
Elana Gordon
Outside Truman Medical Center on Charlotte Street.

A new report sheds light on why vaccination rates for Kansas City area residents remain low, even though many vaccinations have been administered there.

More than 20% of vaccines administered in Jackson County, Missouri, were given to people who may be from outside the state or metro area, according to a report by Deloitte Consulting.

The report, which was produced as a slideshow for the state, also showed that Jackson County has the second highest number of eligible residents who had not been vaccinated as of Feb. 17.

Cass Count also had high numbers of eligible residents who had not been vaccinated. So did urban counties in the St. Louis metropolitan area.

The Deloitte report, which was dated Feb. 22, was obtained by the Missouri Independent, an online journalism outlet that focuses on state government.

While more than 84,000 vaccine doses had been administered in Jackson County by the week ending Feb. 12, only about half were given to Jackson County residents, according to the report. More than 17,500 were provided to people whose county of residence was unknown.

The study hinted at a problem that may exist in other parts of the state as well.

“Unknown vaccinations — accounting for approximately 14.9% of total vaccinations — are potentially out-of-state residents per guidance from the State of Missouri,” the report said.

Meanwhile, 238,400 Jackson County residents eligible to be vaccinated had not received shots as of Feb. 17.

The report also found that large numbers of Missouri residents aren’t getting vaccines in their local communities. It said that 30.4% of people who had received shots had traveled outside of their home counties to do so.

Large numbers of Clay County residents traveled elsewhere to get their shots in the first week February, and large numbers of Platte County residents traveled elsewhere during the second week.

Revised guidance issued by the state in mid-February calls for vaccinators to prioritize Missouri residents.

Copyright 2021 KCUR 89.3. To see more, visit KCUR 89.3.

Alex Smith began working in radio as an intern at the National Association of Farm Broadcasters. A few years and a couple of radio jobs later, he became the assistant producer of KCUR's magazine show, KC Currents. In January 2014 he became KCUR's health reporter.