Vaccine supply not keeping pace with demand in Lincoln’s neighboring counties

"We are going to get to everyone, but it is going to take a while with the amount of vaccine we have coming in each week."

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – In Lancaster County, there is substantial demand for the COVID-19 vaccine. The same is true in rural counties surrounding the Capital City.

Health officials from the Four Corners Health Department in York and Public Health Solutions in Crete tell Channel 8 the demand for the vaccine is intense. Both health districts are receiving between 600 and 800 primary doses a week. But do they have enough supply to meet the demand?

“No, we don’t,” Four Corners executive director Laura McDougall said. “We have 7000 people on a waiting list. Logistically, right now what we’re doing is when we receive vaccines we set up times to give them. So it’s just a constant rolling out of vaccine.”

“This is not a distribution problem,” Public Health Solutions health director Kim Showalter said. “This is a supply problem. And there’s nothing any of us can do about that.”

Four Corners serves Butler, Polk, Seward, and York counties, while Public Health Solutions serves Fillmore, Gage, Jefferson, Thayer, and Saline counties. Both districts began vaccinating people in the Phase 1B group last week.

“Our rural counties, we have a lot more people in that age group,” McDougall said. “So I think it’s good that we’re able to go ahead and have been in the 1B for about a week now.”

They distribute vaccine through a select group of approved health care providers within the district, with at least one in each county.

“We felt that the best place for someone in that 75+ to 85+ age range to get a vaccine is at their provider,” Showalter said.

Rural health departments are committed to making sure that everyone who wants to get the vaccine is able to get it, but officials say it will take time.

“I want everyone to know, please be patient because we are going to get to everyone, but it is going to take a while with the amount of vaccine we have coming in each week,” Showalter said.

“In my entire career in public health, I’ve never seen such a concerted effort as I do right now with all of our medical partners working together,” McDougall said. “It’s a lot of teamwork, good teamwork going on.”

People in the 65 and older group can register online with their respective health departments to set up a vaccination appointment:

Four Corners Health Department

Public Health Solutions

They can also call the Nebraska State Vaccine Hotline using the phone numbers 531-249-1873 or 833-998-2275

Categories: Coronavirus, Gage, Jefferson, Nebraska News, Saline, Seward, York