NEBRASKA — Health systems across the state are preparing to administer the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. CHI Health began that process Monday after exactly 21 days from the first round of vaccinations.
"The second dose is the booster dose. That'll put you up to 95 percent effective with the vaccine, which is really high when we look at a lot of other vaccines out there," CHI Health VP of pharmacy Mike Tiesi said.
The state received the second doses last week and is only about a third of the way through phase 1A - which includes vaccinating frontline workers and long-term care residents and staff.
The state launched a new dashboard to show how many vaccines the state has and how many have been administered. According to that data, out of the 94,697 vaccines that the state distributed only 36,360 have been administered. The Department of Health and Human Services blames that delay on the holidays, weather and side effects associated with the vaccine.
"We have to very careful in the way we administer this to make sure that our hospital staff does not fall out due to side effects," Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services incident commander Angie Ling said.
The lag however does push those in group 1B further down the wait list.
"Age 75 or older will be in phase 1B and we expect those vaccines to start being available in probably two to three weeks or so," Gov. Ricketts said.
As of Monday, only 0.0072% of Nebraska's population over the age of 16 has received both doses of the vaccine. That now includes some of the staff at CHI-Bergan Mercy.
State officials say vaccinations will pick up in the coming weeks.
"We do expect these next two weeks to be very big weeks for Nebraska," Ling said.
More information on how to register for a vaccine for those in group 1B will be made available by state officials next week.