KIOS-FM

NE Looks To Combat "Vaccine Hesitancy" As Covid Cases Start To Climb Again

Apr 6, 2021

Nebraska's COVID-19 vaccination eligibility opened to everyone in the state over the age of 16 yesterday, as positivity rates and hospitalizations are going up.  Governor Pete Ricketts says the number of people hospitalized with the virus rose last week after 18 weeks of decline.  He also says the state's positivity rate is above five percent for the first time in eight weeks. Last week, there was a 64 percent increase in cases in Douglas County compared to the previous week among people between the ages of 40 and 59. There was also a 58 percent jump in cases among people ages 20 and 39. Even though Nebraska has cleared a path for adults of all ages to sign up for a coronavirus vaccination, but state officials say they’re still trying to overcome “vaccination hesitancy,” especially in some minority communities. Gov. Pete Ricketts says state officials have ramped up their outreach efforts to residents including Hispanics, who are now catching the virus and getting hospitalized at proportionally higher rates than the state’s general population. Josie Rodriguez, a state administrator who works to promote the vaccine to minority groups, says officials are working to overcome “vaccine hesitancy” among many of those populations.