May 04, 2021 1:00 PM

Coronavirus variants surge, vaccines slow in Kansas

Posted May 04, 2021 1:00 PM
hCOV-19 tracking of variants. As of Monday Kansas reported 408 and there were 436 in Missouri -image courtesy GISAID
hCOV-19 tracking of variants. As of Monday Kansas reported 408 and there were 436 in Missouri -image courtesy GISAID

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Vaccinations to protect the public from COVID-19 slowed last month in Kansas, even as more contagious variants of the coronavirus surged and hospitalizations from the disease rose in the state, according Kansas health officials.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment numbers show about 91,000 fewer people received first doses of the available vaccines in April than in March.

There were 520 new hospitalizations and 157 new ICU admissions in April, compared with 438 new hospitalizations and 150 new ICU admissions in March, officials said.

“Almost exclusively, the answer is those needing hospitalized are un-vaccinated,” Dr. David Wild with the University of Kansas Health System said Friday.

Statewide, children account for a growing share of the new cases. Of the more than 6,750 new cases in April, more than 1 in 5 were patients younger than 18, according to health department numbers. Children accounted for about 12% of all cases in March.

Meanwhile, confirmed variant cases nearly tripled over the last three weeks of April, officials said.

Officials did see a decrease in deaths from COVID-19 in April, at 69, compared with 170 deaths in March.

Monday May 3, 2021 KDHE image
Monday May 3, 2021 KDHE image

Since the beginning of the pandemic last year, Kansas has seen more than 309,000 coronavirus cases and nearly 5,000 deaths. By April 30, there were more than 1.9 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered out of nearly 2.58 million doses distributed to the state, state figures showed.