(Lincoln, NE) -- COVID-19 vaccine doses could be available for most Nebraskans by April.
During his coronavirus update on Thursday, Governor Pete Ricketts said that an increase in COVID-19 vaccine production plus the expected addition of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine could mean that doses may be available for all Nebraskans as soon as April.
During the update, Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Incident Commander Angie Ling said that DHHS is now counting all six doses in each Pfizer vial, instead of five, giving the state a bump in its COVID-19 vaccine allocation numbers. That state is also expecting to get an increase in its allocations next week, for a new total of 18,720 Pfizer doses and 18,400 Moderna doses weekly.
In addition, Ling said, the state will delay its order of second doses. Previously, those orders had been made 7-10 days after vaccine administration, she said, but now those orders will be made closer to the 21-day second-dosing window. Two larger shipments of COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Nebraska on Monday, Ling said, but a backlog is expected due to weather delays nationwide. At this time, she said, there is no delivery expected for Nebraska, and federal partners are working to catch up on the nationwide backlog.
As vaccination production increases, and a third COVID-19 vaccine comes to fruition from Johnson & Johnson, the state’s expected increase in federal allocations should mean that Nebraska is able to move through its prioritization schedule quicker. That acceleration should mean that all Nebraskans will be eligible to get their COVID-19 vaccinations by April or May.