Most vaccines go to local health departments. Where do the rest go?
Two-thirds of COVID-19 vaccines go directly to the state of Nebraska. The other third goes to pharmacies across the state.
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – When COVID-19 vaccines arrive in Nebraska, they go one of two places.
Most go to local health departments. The rest go to what is called the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, a partnership between the federal government and states that supplies select pharmacies across the state with vaccine.
To date, Nebraska has received 300,400 doses of vaccine. Only 206,800 have actually been made available to state health departments. Of those, about 75% have been administered.
Almost 94,000 doses have been given to the Federal Pharmacy Program, which has administered 65% of its allotment. This means that only half of the doses are actually accessible by the state.
Gov. Pete Ricketts says the state program is right on schedule.
“If you go look at the vaccine data that we had from last week, and looking from January 23, through January 29, you’ll see that we were able to administer over 44, almost 45,000 vaccines, which means that we’re really keeping up with the amount of vaccines are coming in,” Ricketts said.
Nebraska has been reaching about 23,000 vaccines a week. The state determines how many of those are allocated to local health departments based on population.
“The state has told Lincoln in Lancaster County that we can expect to receive about 3900 doses per week for the time being,” Lincoln mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird said.
Both the governor and the mayor say that the number of doses may go up in the coming weeks if Moderna or Pfizer increase production of vaccines or if a new vaccine receives emergency use authorization.
State health officials say that the Federal Pharmacy Program is actually returning more than 17,000 doses to the state. These doses were considered overages.
On Tuesday, Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Director Pat Lopez said that she expected to be notified today about how many of these vaccines we could see allotted to Lancaster County.
The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department tells Channel 8 that there is no notification of an increased allotment at this time.