LINCOLN – Governor Pete Ricketts held a press conference on Monday morning to discuss the state’s plan to administer coronavirus vaccines once they become available. They are saying that when the vaccine first becomes available, it will be limited, and healthcare providers and at risk populations will be prioritized in getting the vaccine.
There will be multiple phases of administering the vaccinations. Phase 1A will focus on healthcare providers and Phase 1B will be for at risk populations and essential critical infrastructure workers. Phase 2 and 3 will be for the general public. Governor Ricketts said that they don’t yet know how the vaccines will be allocated to each state or when, exactly, it will be available.
While we had to submit our plan to the federal government this month, we’re not expecting probably to see the first vaccines, and there’s several of them going through phase 3 testing right now, but we’re probably not likely to see those until the end of this year or early next year. So, there’s going to be more details to come in regards to how those will be distributed.
The vaccine will be administered by local providers who have completed a Vaccination Program Provider Agreement. The state government will not mandate that everyone has to take a vaccine but Governor Ricketts said that there will be education provided on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine.
When asked how long it will take to get everyone vaccinated, they said they were still unsure on how long it will take. The vaccines will be free and paid for by the federal government. Ricketts said that it will be important for people to continue to social distance, practice good hygiene, and wear face masks.