Marshall County residents can now sign up to put their name on a list to receive the COVID-19 vaccine by filling out an online form at www.cmhcare.org or by calling the vaccine hotline at 785-562-4474.

"While putting one’s name on the list does not guarantee a vaccine, it proactively helps the county health providers plan for the amount of interest from people who are willing to receive the vaccine as soon as possible when vaccines become available for their age group/priority level," Ashley Kracht, CMH marketing director. "Community Memorial Healthcare is collecting the data for Marshall County residents who would like to receive the vaccine, and more information will be available after the county’s vaccination team knows more about specific guidelines and timelines from the state."

The state of Kansas is in Phase 1 of the vaccination distribution plan, which includes vaccinating healthcare workers and long-term care facility residents. Vaccines are not currently available to the general public.

Phase 2 is expected to begin soon, Kracht said. Phase 2 is to include adults aged 65 or older, K-12 teachers and staff, licensed child care providers, preschool or afterschool care staff, and child care licensing staff, congregate living homes such as emergency shelters, adult group care, residential treatment centers, and adults with certain high risk health concerns.

For more information on the various phases, people can visit https://www.kansasvaccine.gov/157/Availability.

“We are working closely with the Marshall County Health Department to determine the best course of action to help us get as many people vaccinated who want the vaccine as quickly as possible, so that when the time comes, we are prepared. There is a certain time frame in which vaccines can be used, and only a limited amount of staff to both distribute the vaccine, and complete the records associated with that,” said Deb Hedke, RN, CMH director of infection prevention and employee health. “We have been fortunate to be able to vaccinate a good number of our staff, and we have seen through the vaccine hotline that the public is very excited to start receiving their vaccines, as well.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, about 1,200 people had called the hotline to add their name to the list, which launched in early January, Kracht said.

“Since the hotline is a voicemail recording system, there is not a limit on the time you can call the hotline to leave a message,” said Kracht, “but we hope that adding an online component will make signing up even more convenient.”

Hedke said state guidelines specify that CMH can only vaccinate current Marshall County residents.

Questions regarding the hotline or the online form can be directed to akracht@cmhcare.org, or by calling 785-562-2311.