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Nebraska continues receiving vaccine shipments; Nebraska Medicine begins vaccinations

Local health systems receive thousands of vaccines
Posted at 6:38 PM, Dec 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-15 19:45:03-05

OMAHA, Neb. — On Tuesday, Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine shipments continued making their way to local hospitals. With the new shipments in, Nebraska Medicine began administering vaccines to staff Tuesday evening.

CHI Health was one of the first health systems in the state to begin vaccinating healthcare workers Monday. Starting Tuesday they plan on vaccinating around 1,000 frontline workers daily.

Methodist also received shipments of the vaccines Tuesday and will begin vaccinating Wednesday morning.

"Gosh the excitement for the arrival of this vaccine...I just can't put it all into words because we've been waiting for this moment really since March," Methodist Hospital and Methodist Women's Hospital president and CEO Josie Abboud said.

Dr. Adam Highley at CHI Bergan Mercy works directly with COVID patients and was one of the first in the state to get vaccinated. A day later and back at work, he's feeling no symptoms despite a small ache at the injection site.

"No nausea, no vomiting, no diarrhea, nothing like other COVID-type symptoms, no fevers, myalgias, chills or shakes, nothing. Just felt normal," he said.

CHI Health has begun their mass vaccination project Tuesday at Immanuel, St. Francis in Grand Island and at their other locations — staggering those, to avoid staff shortages just in case of side effects.

The excitement is building as the health system now has around 7,000 vaccines at their disposal.

"There was applause both at Creighton and in Grand Island today after the first dose — spontaneous. Just such a sense of that we are truly entering the final stages of this disease," CHI Health Chief Medical Officer Cary Ward said.