Vaccination plans for Nebraska have been released. The plan includes that meat packing plant workers, teachers, and prison staffers will be some of the first people to receive doses, after healthcare workers and those who work in long-term care facilities get them.
If the US Food and Drug Administration approves the vaccine as expected on Thursday, Dec. 10, Nebraska will receive its first shipment of 15,600 doses next week from the drug maker Pfizer.
Once hospital workers and care facility workers are taken care of, the state will expand eligibility to other categories of people. Food and agriculture industries, correctional facilities, and utilities and transportation will be next in line for eligibility. Then, those who are 65 years of age and older, or others who are considered vulnerable, will receive doses.
Nebraska is expected to receive 100,000 doses by the end of the year, but even the earliest recipients will have to wait until at least January to get full immunity. The vaccine is administered in two separate doses spread over 3 to 4 weeks, and it is expected that Nebraska will not receive the second doses until January.
The first shipment of doses will go to eight undisclosed Nebraska hospitals which will then provide assist to nine other hospitals. The hospitals are reported to be spread throughout the state, and the first eight were chosen due to an ability to properly store vaccine in cold spaces.
Nebraska reported 787 active hospitalizations in the most recent online posting, which is down from the record high of 987 set in November. The number is still elevated, however, raising concerns among public health officials.
Overall, Nebraska has reported 142,603 cases and 1,277 deaths in the state since the pandemic began. There were 1476 new cases reported Tuesday. Almost two-thirds of those have died from the virus were at least 75 years old.
State officials also reported that 28 percent of Nebraska’s hospital beds, 26 percent of its intensive care unit beds, and 71 percent of ventilators were available for use by coronavirus patients. The Nebraska Department of Correctional Services reported on Tuesday at seven additional staff members tested positive for the virus, bringing the total to 374 since the start of the pandemic. Of those, 286 have recovered.