LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts said the state is doing well with COVID-19 vaccines but urged residents to remain vigilant as hospitalizations and positive cases rose in the last week.
Ricketts said hospitalizations increased last week for the first time in 19 weeks. Additionally, the positivity rate in Nebraska was above 5% for the first time in eight weeks.
“Folks we still have a pandemic," the governor said at Monday's press conference.
More doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are expected in the state and the Federal Pharmacy Program is expanding to help get more shots administered across Nebraska.
Those 16 and older can register for vaccinations now; however, that doesn’t mean all local health departments fall into that age category. Some pharmacies with the Federal Pharmacy Program are allowing those 18 and older to be vaccinated.
Ricketts said to check with the state or local pharmacies for available time slots when scheduling a COVID-19 vaccine.
However, Douglas and Sarpy Counties are allowing those over 16 to register for a vaccine due to the increase in supply.
The governor received his first shot of the vaccine on Saturday. He said the process went smoothly and his only side effect was a sore arm.
Josie Rodriguez, an administrator with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, spoke about the vaccination effort within the Hispanic community. She stressed the importance of receiving the vaccine, adding that a higher percentage of Hispanic individuals have been hospitalized during the pandemic.
Rodriguez said there are still concerns and worries from some individuals when it comes to getting a vaccine. She urged people to do their own research and find out more information on their own.
Visit this website to register for the vaccine in Spanish or call 833-998-2275 for assistance.
Visit this website to register for the vaccine in English.
Shannon Harner, Executive Director of the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority, discussed the emergency rental assistance program.
Harner mentioned that both tenants and landlords can apply for rental assistance, which can help with rent and utilities. All funds would be given directly to landlords or utility companies.
Those who live outside of Lancaster or Douglas counties can apply for assistance here. Douglas County’s program for assistance expected to come in mid-April.
Those who are applying must show documents proving loss of income.
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