First doses of COVID-19 vaccine arrive in Omaha

The first doses of Pfizer's new COVID-19 vaccine are now in Omaha.

CHI Health's CUMC-Bergan Mercy got their first shipment of vaccines around 6:30 Monday morning. C-H-I Health's Vice President of Pharmacy Mike Tiesi says their received four boxes of vials, with each box containing 975 doses of the new vaccine.

Once the hospital pharmacy received the doses, employees began unpacking it right away and placing it into their ultra-low freezer. Employees had just three minutes to make the transfer from the original packaging in dry ice to their own freezers.

According to CHI, the vaccine can last up to five days, once thawed, prior to use. The hospital has been instructed to use all of the doses and not hold any back to the second dose, which will be given 21 days later. Tiesi says the doses they received may be distributed to other facilities in the area.

By Monday afternoon, five CHI Bergan Mercy employees had the vaccine in their arms.

The state medical director says they’re being told that Nebraska is still on target to receive 104,000 doses by the end of the year. These doses will be the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The first shipment to Nebraska is around 15,600 doses.

A CHI Health Bergan Mercy employee receives the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Nebraska.
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