ATTENTION: Questions from the public about vaccines can be directed to the COVID-19 information line at (531) 249-1873 or (833) 998-2275. Please visit your local health department's website for more information on how priority group vaccination is proceeding in your area.
Lincoln, Neb. – More than 52,844 COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered last week in Nebraska. As of Monday, more than 344,165 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been given to those in Phase 1 priority groups, according to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Additionally, as of Monday 107,807 Nebraskans have completed vaccination which represents 7.3% of Nebraskans aged 16 years of age and older.
Thus far, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for those aged 16 years and older, and the Moderna vaccine approved for those aged 18 years and older.
This week, Nebraska is scheduled to receive 18,720 Pfizer and 18,400 Moderna primary doses.
DHHS has a website available so Nebraskans can register and get notified when COVID-19 vaccinations begin in their area. A Spanish translation of the website is now available. To access, users select Español from the language drop-down menu at the top-right side of the page.
As of Feb. 22, 211,237 Nebraskans have registered to receive the vaccine at vaccinate.ne.gov,
Those interested in registering will need to provide name and contact information, date of birth and answer health questions used to help determine priority group eligibility. Any information entered is strictly confidential and used solely for this purpose. Friends, family and caregivers are encouraged to assist others with vaccine sign-up if needed. The DHHS Information line can assist those with limited technology, language or Internet access, and is available by calling (531) 249-1873 or (833) 998-2275.
All Nebraska counties are vaccinating Phase 1B priority groups.
Local health departments and retail pharmacy partners are offering vaccines for Nebraskans 65 and older. Vaccination will expand to other 1B priority groups as supplies allow. Other groups include those working in critical industries including: first responders, educators and daycare providers, those in the utilities and transportation sectors, corrections staff, and those working in food processing and at grocery stores.
DHHS is allocating doses via an existing vaccine network that includes local health departments, federally-qualified health centers (FQHCs), community-based clinics, and tribal health care centers across the state. A total of 135 sites across Nebraska receive vaccine shipments.
Community clinics with scheduled appointments are the primary way vaccine doses are given while vaccine supplies remain limited in order to help ensure all doses can be used in the required timeframe. Community clinics are staggering appointments to observe social distancing and are providing space for monitoring after vaccination.
Mild side effects like a sore arm and fatigue are some of the most common symptoms with COVID-19 vaccines. While many people will have no symptoms, for others there can be headaches, chills or a fever. These side effects are normal and a sign your body is building protection, and you should be feeling better within a few days.
Those receiving their first dose are reminded to keep their vaccination record card in a safe place and take it to their second dose appointment.
The Pfizer vaccine was 95% effective and the Moderna vaccine 94% effective in phase three clinical trials. Comparatively, the flu vaccine is generally 40 to 60% effective. Two doses are needed to reach full effectiveness against COVID-19, and the same brand of vaccine must be administered for both doses.
Last week, the State launched our official COVID-19 vaccination campaign: Finish Strong Nebraska. DHHS is answering frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccines, such as:
Answers are available on the FinishStrong.Ne.Gov page, and are available in several languages.
Nebraskans are reminded that basic precautions are the best defense against COVID-19 while vaccine supplies are limited. You can be #BigRedResponsible by wearing a mask. Additionally, watching your distance, washing hands often, staying home when you're sick, and avoiding the 3Cs – crowded places, close contact with others, and confined spaces – remain critical to preventing infection and controlling spread.
The state is taking recommendations of the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) into consideration. Priority groups and timing projections remain tentative and will be adjusted as federal recommendations are issued and as vaccine shipments are scheduled.
To follow Nebraska's COVID-19 vaccination progress, please visit the COVID-19 Vaccination dashboard.
DHHS continues to share new information via the Coronavirus website, as well as Facebook and Twitter and at virtual town halls. Each week, members of the DHHS team hold a mid-day Facebook Live session to discuss vaccine-related and pandemic-related topics. DHHS Chief Medical Officer Gary Anthone, MD, and Sara Morgan, administrator for the Division of Public Health, will discuss vaccine allocations and Directed Health Measure (DHM) changes at 1:15 pm CST on Thursday, Feb.25. For those unable to watch live, all sessions are archived and available on the video tab of the DHHS Facebook page and DHHS's website.
Online Town Halls this week include:
Tuesday, February 23rd at 5:00 PM
Online Town Hall with 4Urban.org and the Charles Drew Center
Webex meeting info:
Event number: 187 832 7038
Event Password: DMeWMiDR332
Thursday, February 25th at 3:30 PM
Online Town Hall with Bluestem Health Lincoln
Event number: 187 332 2224
Event password: vaccine
Thursday, February 25 at 7:00 PM
Online Town Hall with New Era Baptist State Convention of Nebraska
ZOOM meeting info:
Meeting ID: 883 9427 7558
In addition, the DHHS COVID-19 information line is available to help answer questions on COVID-19 or vaccination. Available by calling (531) 249-1873 or (833) 998-2275, the line is staffed daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CT. Call volumes may be high and patience is appreciated.