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vaccine

KTLA

Nebraska is approaching having 70% of its adult population vaccinated for the coronavirus but the pace of distribution of the shots continues to slow down. The state may be close to President Joe Biden’s goal of having 70% or more of all adults with at least one dose of the vaccine by July 4. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said about 63% of Nebraskans 18 and older had received at least one shot as of Friday, That rate ranks 24th among all the states.

Nearly half of Nebraska’s adult population has now been vaccinated against the coronavirus. The state said Monday that 49.6% of the population aged 16 and up has now been fully vaccinated and more than 1.5 million doses of the shots have been administered across Nebraska. The campaign to distribute the shots continues to make progress across the state although the pace of vaccinations has slowed in recent weeks as demand has weakened.

KLKN

State health officials say a south-central Nebraska woman who had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 has died of the disease. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday in a news release that the woman was in her 80s and had underlying health conditions. Officials with Two Rivers Health District, based in Kearney, said the woman lived in the district and was recently hospitalized for more than two weeks well after receiving two doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

PBS

Nebraska plans to immediately resume using Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine after federal health officials decided the shot’s benefits outweigh a rare risk of developing blood clots. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services announced the decision on Monday. Federal health officials gave the OK to resume using the shots Friday.

Close of of hands wearing purple hospital gloves holding a small box reading "Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine"
NPR


Nebraska residents who have tested positive for coronavirus antibodies in the last three months are no longer required to quarantine if they get exposed to the virus again, but they’ll still have to wear a mask in public. A Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services administrator said Monday that the agency plans to update its public health requirements this week to match new guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Previously, people who were exposed to the virus were required by the state’s health directives to self-isolate at least 14 days. 

A growing number of younger people are being hospitalized with the coronavirus in Nebraska as more contagious variants of the virus spread in the state. Nebraska health officials said the average age of hospital patients declined to 51 in March from 61 in January. Officials said the age is also shifting lower because a significant number of older people have been vaccinated. The number of people hospitalized is also growing and it hit 161 Wednesday as the state reported more cases of the virus.

Amazon

Nebraska colleges and universities are encouraging students to get vaccinated for the coronavirus, but they won’t require the shots before students return to campus in the fall. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the Nebraska State College System and the state’s largest private colleges all said this week that they have no plans to require students or staff to get vaccinated. UNL spokeswoman Leslie Reed said the university believes the shots are a good idea but it won't mandate them.

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.

Supermarket News

Nebraska will not participate in a vaccine passport program.  That's according to Governor Pete Ricketts, who made the announcement yesterday afternoon.  Ricketts says a vaccine passport program would go against the "freedom of movement and healthcare privacy." 

Fremont Tribune

Nebraska will move to its next coronavirus vaccination phase today with a focus on residents who are 50 to 64 years old and those with certain health conditions. Gov. Pete Ricketts says the change will apply to the entire state, unlike previous phases where the transition has taken place by public health district. Under the new phase, 90% of doses are required to go to residents in the 50-to-64 age group or people who qualified under previous phases. The remaining 10% will go to people with health conditions that are chosen by local doctors and public health officials in each region.

BBC

Nebraska health officials say a variant of the coronavirus first found in Brazil has been found in Omaha. The Omaha World-Herald reports that the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed two people in Douglas County have tested positive for the so-called Brazil P.1 variant. That strain is believed to be responsible for a surge in hospitalizations in Brazil even though many people there had already developed COVID-19 and made antibodies against it.

More than 250,000 people have signed up for a coronavirus vaccination on Nebraska’s official registration website, but state officials say they want more and urged residents to add their names. State officials want residents to sign up online at vaccinate.ne.gov or through a toll-free hotline at 833-998-2275. The state is currently working to vaccinate residents who are at least 65 years and older, but the next phase will focus on people ages 50 to 64 and those with certain underlying health conditions.

Omaha World Herald

Roughly 5,000 teachers from the Omaha area received their coronavirus vaccine shots this weekend. The Douglas County Health Department held two large vaccination clinics Saturday at Millard North and Omaha North high schools to distribute doses of the new Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine to educators. Tim Royers, president of the Millard Education Association, praised the mass vaccination effort. Royers said he’s optimistic all educators in Douglas County could be vaccinated by the end of next weekend. 

CNBC

Nebraska could get its first doses of drug-maker Johnson & Johnson’s new coronavirus vaccine as early as this week. Gov. Pete Ricketts says the state has been allowed to order up 15,000 doses, but state officials don’t yet know how much they’ll get. The announcement came days after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the vaccine, clearing the way for a third shot that’s shown to be effective. Unlike the vaccines from manufacturers Pfizer and Moderna, which require two doses to provide full immunity, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine can be delivered in one shot.

Omaha World Herald

The coronavirus has devastated many types of businesses, and a new study in Nebraska shows just how hard the pandemic has hit child care centers. The Scottsbluff Star-Herald cited a new legislative study that found 231 licensed child care providers in the state have closed permanently since the pandemic began. Hundreds more shuttered temporarily, and more than half of operators say they will close permanently without further government financial assistance. Nebraska ranks highest in the nation for households with children where both parents work. 

NPR

Some coronavirus vaccination events have been canceled across Nebraska because winter weather delayed vaccine shipments. Health officials in Beatrice and Hastings canceled vaccination appointments that were scheduled for this week. The West Central District Health Department in North Platte said it has enough vaccine on hand for the appointments it has scheduled this week, but it may have to delay next week’s vaccination clinics because of the shipment delays. The state estimated that 6.5% of Nebraska’s population has now received both required doses of the vaccine.

KLKN

Nebraska ranks in the middle of the pack in the rate of administering coronavirus vaccines, but state officials are working to speed up distribution of the shots. The state ranked 33rd among states and the District of Columbia by administering 14,770 shots per 100,000 people as of Sunday, according to data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overall, Nebraska has administered 285,708 of the 407,500 doses it has received — or roughly 70% of the doses. Lincoln Dr.

ABC News

Nebraska should see at least 43 retail pharmacies participating in a new federal program to help provide coronavirus vaccinations, although state officials say they don’t have a good way to communicate with all of them to avoid mistakes. Gov. Pete Ricketts says he’s grateful for the additional 5,700 doses Nebraska will get through the federal program, but is concerned about how all the different businesses will coordinate with the state’s efforts. He says the federal program didn’t include a way for states and the retailers to ensure they’re on the same page. 

WOWT

Nebraska officials expect nearly 70,000 doses of coronavirus vaccines to be available in the state this week as they continue to work to distribute more shots. The state said 69,600 vaccine doses total should be released in Nebraska this week, up from 61,750 a week ago. Most of those vaccines are being distributed through local health departments, but nearly 6,000 doses will go to a new program that is just getting started to distribute vaccines directly through some retail pharmacies.

Lincoln Journal Star

The number of people getting vaccinated for the coronavirus increased nearly 5% last week in Nebraska. State officials said 48,982 doses of the vaccines were administered last week, up from 46,806 doses the week before. The state is working to speed up distribution of the vaccines. So far, about 4.6% of the state’s population has received both required doses of a vaccine. Nebraska said Monday that it has administered 232,896 doses of the vaccines. The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Nebraska fell over the past two weeks from 849.14 new cases per day on Jan.

Vaccines Arrive At Open Door Mission

Feb 4, 2021
Omaha World Herald

The Open Door Mission in Omaha is one of the first homeless shelters in the country to vaccinate staff and residents against the coronavirus.  The Douglas County Health Department and Nebraska Methodist College teamed up yesterday to provide 70 doses at the shelter.  Officials say the Open Door Mission has seen COVID-19 infection rates of less than one-percent among its residents. 

KWCH

Meatpacking companies and public health officials are trying to overcome any reluctance workers may have about coronavirus vaccines before they become eligible to get them. Major companies such as Tyson Foods and JBS are encouraging workers to get the vaccine with campaigns to educate them about the benefits and safety of the shots. Also, JBS and Pilgrim’s Corp. are offering $100 bonuses to workers who get the vaccine.

KMEG

More than 54,000 people signed up for a coronavirus vaccine on the day that Nebraska’s new registration website went live, and state officials are seeking to assure residents that the elderly and vulnerable will still get priority. Officials with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services say the website’s launch on Thursday went smoothly. Nebraska residents can register for a vaccination at vaccinate.ne.gov.

Lincoln Journal Star

Gov. Pete Ricketts is defending Nebraska’s approach to distributing coronavirus vaccines, saying the state won’t redirect doses away from rural areas that are outpacing Omaha and Lincoln with vaccinations. State officials reported Friday that 15 rural public health districts in Nebraska have already finished the first phase of vaccinations, which focused on front-line health workers. Those districts are now vaccinating the next high-priority group, consisting largely of residents who are at least 65 years old.

Lincoln Journal Star

A mass vaccination event in Lincoln that helped Nebraska record one of its most productive days in its campaign to distribute shots could serve as a model for future events. Health officials in Lincoln said roughly 2,400 health care workers received the vaccine Friday at the event held at the Pinnacle Bank Arena. That helped the state administer 8,701 doses of the vaccine on Friday in what was the second-busiest day of the campaign so far. The state has been averaging about 4,500 shots a day over the past two weeks as it works to speed up distribution of the vaccine. 

Thousands Of Applicants Strain Vaccine Registration Portal

Jan 21, 2021

The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department's online COVID-19 vaccine registration form is experiencing technical difficulties.  The department says the problems are being caused by an extremely high volume of users.  They say as of 8:30 yesterday morning, 100 people were trying to register every second.  As of 9:30 a.m., more than 11-thousand people had registered.  The department says pages may take longer than normal to load, and those who are unable to get through should try again. 

  

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska’s campaign to vaccinate people for the coronavirus is further along in some rural parts of the state. At least half a dozen health districts across the state have already started giving vaccines to seniors living outside long-term care facilities, the Lincoln Journal Star reported. Officials in Lincoln and Omaha are still working to vaccinate health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities. State health officials have said they expected the campaign to progress at different rates throughout parts of Nebraska.

No Vaccine For Undocumented Meat Packers, Says Ricketts

Jan 6, 2021
WOWT

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts is saying only documented workers in meatpacking plants will get the COVID-19 vaccine.  Ricketts says people who work in the plants are supposed to be in the U.S. legally, and there will be no conflict since people need to be in the country legally to work in the food-processing program.  UFCW Local 293 officials tell WOWT that there are plenty of undocumented workers employed in the state's meatpacking plants, and that the best way to keep the plants running is to vaccinate everyone. 

KWWL

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst is urging everyone to get their COVID-19 vaccine when it's available to them, after receiving her first dose over the weekend. The senator posted a series of tweets showing her getting vaccinated and saying that with the vaccine, we are one step closer to defeating the virus. She added that everyone should continue wearing masks, practice social distancing and continue to follow other protocols put in place to protect one another.

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