VIDEO: Educators to be vaccinated soon, 2 more vaccination clinics
This event was previously live-streamed but has since ended. Above is a recording.
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — Lincoln’s Mayor, along with local health department officials, provides an update to our community’s vaccination progress.
“Today we are very excited to announce additional groups in Phase 1B are eligible to receive the vaccine this week. We will be holding two large-scale vaccination clinics at Pinnacle Bank Arena. One is a first dose clinic on Thursday for Lancaster County residents, ages 73 years and older by appointment only,” Health Director Pat Lopez said.
These individuals are currently being contacted. By 3:30 p.m. today, over 2,000 eligible residents had already registered.
Another vaccination clinic will be held this week for healthcare workers to receive their second dose of the vaccine. Eligible individuals are already being contacted.
The majority of independent living facility residents should be vaccinated by the end of the week.
Most notably, Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) now has an anticipated date for when educators can receive the vaccine.
Vaccinations are anticipated to begin for educators about three weeks from now. at the start of LPS’s spring break, “assuming no unforeseen barriers or changes in circumstances arise” said the Mayor. LLCHD estimates upwards of 20,000 individuals fall under this category.
“This week we’re working with areas schools, colleges, and universities to help ensure those who are interested in receiving the vaccine are currently registered via a special link we have sent out,” Director Lopez explained. “As the Mayor mentioned, vaccinating this group will take time because vaccine supplies are limited.”
Although more people are being vaccinated every day and our COVID numbers continue to decline, officials say it’s “imperative to continue to work at all of the community mitigation measures.”
UNMC’s Dr. James Lawler discussed the dangers COVID-19 variants pose to our progress.
He says the most prominent variant detected in the U.S. is the U.K. variant.
“So far, the CDC reports over 1,100 cases of that new variant virus have been detected in the United States. But if you look at some of the laboratory screening data, that would suggest that we’ve had maybe 100-fold more of those cases than have been officially reported… and that’s concerning because it puts us in a position similar to where England or the U.K. was back in November where they had dramatically declining rates. But this new variant was starting to take off and by December, they essentially did a U-turn and had a huge epidemic wave that swept across the country.”
Dr. Lawler projects, if the U.S. continues to vaccinate at our current rate of 1.7 million a day, most Americans should be vaccinated by June.
Today, Lincoln’s COVID-19 Risk Dial moves to mid-yellow. This means our risk of spread is still moderate. The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations has dropped 77% between the weekend of Jan. 27 and this past weekend.
However, LLCHD announced two more deaths due to COVID-19.
The individuals have been identified as a woman in her 50s and a man in his 70s who were both hospitalized. This brings our total number of community deaths to 212.
Only 29 new coronavirus cases were reported, moving our community total to 27,563. This week’s positivity rate is just over 21.6%.
Over 12,000 people have recovered from the virus, with more than 60,100 vaccines administered.
Thirty COVID patients are currently hospitalized (19 are Lancaster County residents).