DCHD encouraged with booster shot numbers, still work to be done

Posted at 10:26 AM, Dec 08, 2021

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The demand for COVID-19 booster shots has been high across the country since it was approved for everyone ages 18 and up.

The Douglas County Health Department says while they can’t speak for private clinics in the area, they’ve always had plenty of vaccines available, and in some locations, they’ve had to bring more out because it’s going so well.

They say vaccine rates across all ages and doses have been moving in the right direction, and they’re really excited about the way the community is responding.

“It’s a really encouraging situation. As of yesterday, we had over 101,000 booster doses given to Douglas County residents. That’s 62% of residents 65 and up, among the most vulnerable part of the population, and 32 percent of the folks who are 18-plus,” DCHD Resource Specialist Phil Rooney said. “So, considering we haven’t been at this a terrible long time, just a couple weeks for the 18-plus people to be eligible, it’s going really well.”

Rooney says they’ve have seen an uptick in children getting vaccinated along with the African American community, which has been a challenge for them up to this point.

However, he says there’s still a lot of work to be done.

“It’s safe, it’s effective, and we really need people to get vaccinated to get through this thing. Because there will continue to be variants as long as there are new people to be infected.”

He says getting fully vaccinated is crucial before gathering for the holidays.

According to DCHD, 343,000 people are fully vaccinated in Douglas County. Out of those people, just 2.2% have had a breakthrough infection, and 0.01% have died.

Rooney says booster shots are nothing new - we see them with the flu and with tetanus shots, among other illnesses, so that shouldn’t discourage people from getting a booster.

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