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Initial launch includes 33 pharmacies
LINCOLN – Today the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provided an update on the retail pharmacies participating in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Federal Retail Pharmacy Program to support COVID-19 vaccinations in the state on its weekly Facebook Live.
A total of 33 pharmacies accessible to the public across Nebraska are receiving 100 to 200 Moderna first doses as part of the state's initial retail pharmacy allocation, totaling 5,700 doses. It's expected additional pharmacies will be added as the program expands. Doses may be available as early as Friday and into the weekend for those with appointments.
Nebraskans are cautioned that retail pharmacy doses will be very limited for some time. Participating pharmacies are able to vaccinate those 65 and older, and include:
Those interested in being vaccinated should register on the state site, available at vaccinate.ne.gov.
While all Nebraskans are invited to register for vaccination, local health departments and pharmacies are currently scheduling those 65 and older as part of the state's Phase 1B vaccination effort.
Phase 1B priority groups include: those 65 and older, those 18 and older who are at high-risk for severe COVID-19, and those working in critical industries such as 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.
Registration for a COVID-19 vaccine allows individuals to receive updates, scheduling information and follow-up reminders about vaccination as supplies are made available in their area.
Those 65 and older who registered for vaccination with their local health department do not need to register a second time using the state site. Local health departments and DHHS are working to migrate all registrations.
Those who are 18 to 64 with a high-risk medical condition and live outside of Lancaster County are asked to register using the state site to help ensure proper prioritization in Phase 1B. Residents of Lancaster County should register using the local health department's online registration option.
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, and 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. The registration site is available to Nebraska residents only.
A Spanish version of the website is in development and will be available next week.
Doses available at pharmacy locations are in addition to the state's weekly allocation of first and second doses being administered by Nebraska's 19 local health departments. Pharmacies are to coordinate with their local health department to help ensure doses are distributed to those 65 and older, and other Phase 1B groups as supplies are available.
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. You cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine. Two doses are needed to reach full effectiveness against COVID-19, and the same brand of vaccine must be administered for both doses.
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, others may experience 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 a first dose are reminded a second dose is needed to complete vaccination, which research shows provides the best protection against COVID-19 symptoms and potential complications.
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 3C's – crowded places, close contact with others, and confined spaces – remain critical to preventing infection and controlling spread.
DHHS continues to share COVID-19 and vaccine information via its Coronavirus website, as well as Facebook and Twitter.
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.