Nebraska expands eligibility for coronavirus vaccine


OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Nebraska plans to expand the next phase of its coronavirus vaccination campaign to all people 65 and older.

Previously, the state planned to vaccinate people 75 and over in the next phase, which also includes essential workers who cannot work from home, but federal guidelines on who to vaccinate next time have changed this week. Some younger people with high-risk medical conditions may also be eligible for vaccines in this next phase.

In most parts of Nebraska, the next round of immunization is expected to begin in early February, after officials finish immunizing health workers and residents of long-term care facilities.

Infectious disease expert Dr Mark Rupp of the University of Nebraska Medical Center has warned that the expansion of the vaccine-eligible group from 300,000 to 400,000 people means it will take longer to get through this phase and that the overall pace of vaccinations will not change much due to the logistical challenges involved.

“I would just like to implore people to continue to be patient,” Rupp told the Omaha World-Herald. “We are working on it as quickly as possible. And overall, the public health services are doing a very good job in this area. “

The state administered 5,214 doses of the vaccine on Tuesday, but it has only administered about half of the 175,021 doses it has received so far.

Nebraska reported 1,529 cases and 12 deaths Wednesday to give the state a total of 179,199 cases and 1,803 deaths. Over the past week, the number of new daily cases has averaged 948.14.

The number of people hospitalized with the virus fell to 449 on Wednesday from 457 the day before. This total remains high, but is less than half of the November peak of 987.

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