HARTINGTON — Area residents can now call the local drug store to get a COVID-19 vaccination.
Matt Steffen said Steffen Drug Store received 300 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine last Thursday. His Creighton drug store received 200 doses of the vaccine.
Steffen said his staff is now in the process of signing people up to receive the vaccine.
Steffen said people can’t just walk-in and expect to get the shot as they do with flu shots, though.
Once a vial is opened it has to be used within six hours, and they don’t want any to go to waste, he said.
“Once we pop the top on a vial, we have to give five people the shot,” he said. ‘We can’t just pop the top off and hope enough people come through the door.”
He urges anyone that wants the vaccine to call the drug store to get signed up. Once a person receives the shot, that information is then relayed to the state.
Steffen said he plans on giving the shots this week.
Steffen started working on getting the vaccine here about four months ago.
He didn’t know which vaccine he would receive, but is glad the Johnson and Johnson vaccine arrived.
“This is probably the best one for us,” he said. “People just need to get one dose of it, so you don’t have to worry about scheduling a second appointment.”
More than 120,060 COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered last week in Nebraska. As of Sunday, more than 948,824 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been given to those in Phase 1 and Phase 2A priority groups, according to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
Additionally, as of Sunday over 372,992 Nebraskans have completed vaccination, which represents 25.1 percent of Nebraskans aged 16 years of age and older.
As of Monday, the entire state will move to Phase 2B eligibility for COVID-19 vaccine distribution, which includes all Nebraskans ages 16-49. This does not mean that every health district will immediately be able to vaccinate any adult. Some local health departments may choose to begin Phase 2B by prioritizing according to age within the phase (for example, by starting with only those persons 40 years of age and older).
However, many areas are still working to finish administering vaccines to Nebraskans aged 50 and older. Also, as has been previously indicated, up to 10 percent of the weekly allocation will be allotted for high-risk medical conditions, regardless of age. The medical community will make the decision of who will be vaccinated with these doses.
Also, Directed Health Measures (DHM) went into effect last week to allow for the Federal Retail Pharmacy program to start vaccinating those 18 years of age and older.
The Federal Retail Pharmacy Program is coordinated and managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and participating pharmacies in the state have signed up and been approved by the federal government. For more on the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, visit the CDC website, www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/retailpharmacy-program/participating-pharm...
Thus far, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for those aged 16 years and older, and the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen Pharmaceuticals vaccines have been approved for those aged 18 years and older. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two shots; Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine requires just one shot.
For the week ending April 11, Nebraska is scheduled to receive 25,740 first doses and 31,590 second doses of the Pfizer vaccine; 19,200 first doses and 18,400 second doses of the Moderna vaccine, and 10,400 doses of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen Pharmaceuticals vaccine.
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