Prioritization Of 65+ For Vaccine Could Delay Start For Younger Nebraskans

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts is asking health departments around the state to prioritize 90% of the next phase of COVID-19 vaccinations to people 65 and older.

Others in Phase 1B include first responders, teachers, and those 18 years and older with high risk medical conditions

  That means that unless Nebraska starts getting a lot more vaccine, residents younger than 65 and considered healthy may have to wait another four months to get their shots.

      Angie Ling of Nebraska Health and Human Services is in charge of the vaccine program and says the state is getting 94,000 vaccinations a month from the federal government. 

       With an estimated 500,000 residents in Phase 1B and state officials predicting 75% of that group will be vaccinated, it would take 4 months to get in enough doses to meet that demand. 

     So far, some 219,000 vaccine doses have come to Nebraska, including about 89,000 for distribution through the federal government’s pharmacy program.

      Ling says officials are hopeful allocations will increase in the future, with word that Pfizer and Moderna are working to ramp up production while a third vaccine might be approved in the next month to 6 weeks.