LINCOLN – With Pfizer’s vaccine application being reviewed by the FDA today, Governor Pete Ricketts and the Department of Health and Human Services talked about how the vaccination plan will go in the State of Nebraska.
They are expecting about 15,600 vaccines in the first shipment and they will be distributed to hospitals throughout the state that can handle the ultra cold storage needed for the vaccines. It will take two different shots for the vaccine to take full effect. Angela Ling, the Incident Commander for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, says that the vaccination will be done in phases.
For Phase 1 it would be healthcare and long term care residents. Phase 1B would be first responders, the education sector, food and agriculture, corrections staff, utilities, and transportation. And Phase 1C will be the 65 years and older population, vulnerable populations, and congregate living facilities.
Ling also said that if the Moderna vaccine gets approved, they will be used in the phased plan as well.
Now as the weeks go on we will be getting both Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. Some Pfizer vaccines will still go to healthcare. Some Moderna products will be going to healthcare. But at the same time, concurrently, long term care staff and residents will be started.
They are expecting the vaccine to be available to the general public sometime in April or May. No one will be mandated to get vaccinated but the Governor said that people should do their own research and if the FDA approves the vaccine, he will be taking it. Pfizer announced a delay in the second and third shipments which could alter the state’s plan since the booster shots need to be taken three weeks after the original.
On top of talking about the coronavirus vaccine, Ling also recommended that everyone who hasn’t gotten the influenza vaccine, should do so as soon as possible. It will help reduce the amount of hospitalizations because influenza is responsible for thousands of hospitalizations every year.