Changes could be coming to Nebraska's COVID-19 vaccine roll out

(Lincoln, NE) -- Changes may be coming to Nebraska's COVID-19 vaccine roll out amid national calls to expand priority groups in order to get more people vaccinated.

During a Tuesday morning coronavirus briefing, Nebraska governor Pete Ricketts said that the new push from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to get the vaccine to anyone age 65 and older isn’t a requirement, but that they are looking into the option. "Stay tuned, you will see that we will be making some changes with regard to 65 years and older. But please, do not call your local public health departments."

Ricketts says health departments are already incredibly busy, and don't need to be bogged down by more calls. He says more information about possible vaccine roll out expansions will be coming next week.

Nebraska is still working through Phase 1A, while Ricketts says some health departments have already started working on the 75 and older age group. Ricketts added that additional vaccine doses that the state receives, that are earmarked as second doses, will not be distributed for use as initial doses. That's a move the Biden administration has been calling for in order to get more people their initial dose.

More than 40% of Nebraska’s 90,000 health care workers have received the first of two doses of the coronavirus vaccine as the state ramps up distribution. State health officials said 78,074 of the 144,363 doses Nebraska received so far have been administered, primarily to healthcare workers. Residents and workers at long-term care facilities have also begun getting vaccines.

About 10,000 people in the state have received both doses of the vaccine.

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