A ‘new milestone’: All adults eligible for COVID vaccine
This event was previously live-streamed and has since ended.
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — Lincoln’s Mayor, along with local health department officials, updates our community on its vaccination progress at 3:30 p.m. We’ll be streaming it live right here on klkntv.com.
This press conference comes only hours after the CDC and FDA have recommended pausing the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. It has been reportedly linked to six rare blood clotting cases. Both Nebraska and Lancaster County have publically stated they will be following the CDC’s and FDA’s recommendation to shelve the shot until further research can be done.
All mass vaccination clinics previously scheduled to use the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will now use Pfizer or Moderna.
The mass vaccination clinics are scheduled for this week, they are as follows:
- Monday, Center for People in Need – first doses for county residents
- Wednesday, Gateway Mall – drive-thru clinic, first doses (DHHS)
- Thursday, Pinnacle Bank Arena – first and second doses for county residents
- Friday, Pinnacle Bank Arena – first doses for county residents
- Saturday, Gateway Mall – drive-thru clinic, first doses (DHHS)
Live updates will be posted below.
Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird says Lancaster County residents ages 18 and older can now be vaccinated.
“Along with the normal milestones at this time in their lives, going prom, getting a driver’s license, registering to vote for the first time. This generation is uniquely being called upon to add another new milestone. Getting vaccinated,” announced Mayor Gaylor Baird.
The Mayor says it’s important for residents 16 and older to register to get vaccinated now, so they can easily schedule an appointment when they are eligible. LLCHD is currently working with high schools to set up vaccination clinics for students in the near future.
As of today, 39.5% of the county’s population ages 60 and older have been vaccinated. Lancaster County is number one for the percentage of residents fully vaccinated.
Health Director Pat Lopez addresses the shelving of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, assuring the community that this vaccine will not be used in any LLCHD mass vaccination clinics this week.
“I understand that people have concerns, and I want to remind residents that vaccine safety is a top priority, any incident that occurs following vaccination is taken very seriously. These adverse events appear to be extremely rare,” said Lopez. “According to the CDC, people who have received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine had developed a severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or swelling or shortness of breath, within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider and seek medical treatment.”
Just over 11,500 Johnson & Johnson vaccines have been administered in Lancaster County.
UNMC’s Dr. Lawler joins the press conference to discuss whether the public should be wary of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine moving forward, even if it is cleared following the CDC and FDA’s investigation.
“To me, this indicates that the system works, it’s picking up safety signals that are quite rare. It’s taking appropriate action. And to me, this gives me more confidence in the safety of the vaccines that we have out there and the systems we use to make sure that we understand their safety profiles fully.”
Dr. Lawler further discussed COVID-19 variants. He reports that the CDC believes the UK variant is actually more prevalent in the U.S. than the original COVID-19 virus. The UK variant also seems to be more prevalent in younger populations.
Dr. Lawler stresses that residents continue to follow coronavirus guidelines because, “if we’re not able to do that we run the risk of these variants actually overtaking our vaccination efforts, and we run the risk of seeing significantly increased numbers of hospitalizations.”