Vaccine rollout in Lincoln not “first-come, first-serve”

Health Director Pat Lopez answers questions about the city's vaccine rollout.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – On Wednesday morning, the city of Lincoln rolled out a new online vaccine registration form. Within 45 minutes, the website crashed.

“We were having 100 people every second trying to register,” Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Director Pat Lopez said.

The website is back online. Lopez says a big reason for the launch of the online registration form is to help the city gather data and get an overview of community needs.

“We’ll be looking at both health condition and age to make sure that we’re getting the vaccine to those who are the most vulnerable,” Lopez said.

Because a limited supply of the vaccine, people are being vaccinated in phases. The city is close to finishing administering vaccines to people in Phase 1A, a group that includes frontline health workers, emergency medical technicians, and long-term care facilities.

“We need 6000 more vaccines to give in our community before we can move to [Phase] 1B,” Lopez said.

According the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, vaccinating the entire Phase 1B group could take up to four months. Channel 8 asked Lopez how priority will be determined within different phase groups.

“We haven’t made those determinations yet,” Lopez said. “We need that data. And that’s what people are providing to us that register right now, then we will sort that out.”

One thing is clear: The time you register has no impact on when you can receive the vaccine.

“It is not a first-come, first-serve,” Lopez said. “We’re going to be working through the age groupings and the health conditions and getting people scheduled as soon as we have vaccine.”

Lopez says she is encouraged by the public’s response to the vaccine rollout. Now all that’s needed is more vaccine.

“We’re ready to go with plans,” Lopez said. “We have things all in place to be able to vaccinate large numbers of people. We just need the vaccine.”

Categories: Coronavirus, Lancaster, Nebraska News