LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — More than 40% of Nebraska’s 90,000 health care workers have received the first of two doses of the coronavirus vaccine as the state ramps up distribution.
State health officials said 78,074 of the 144,363 doses Nebraska has received so far have been administered so far — primarily to health care workers. Residents and workers at long-term care facilities have also begun getting vaccines as part of the first tier of distributions in Nebraska.
About 10,000 people in the state have received both doses of the vaccine. Gov. Pete Ricketts said Tuesday that health officials are still working through first-tier recipients, and some areas of the state have started vaccinating the next high-priority group — people who are at least 75 years old.
Ricketts encouraged people to get vaccinated but said he opposes mandates for vaccines or coronavirus tests. Nebraska also plans to launch a website and telephone hotline that will allow people to register for vaccinations.
“There’s a variety of channels” where people will be able to sign up for a vaccine, Ricketts said at a news conference.
Nebraska said 1,197 doses of the vaccine were administered Sunday, which is typically a slower day. The state administered an average of 5,811 doses each day last week.
The state reported 644 new cases of the virus and 12 deaths Monday to give Nebraska a total of 176,670 cases and 1,772 deaths since the pandemic began.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Nebraska has increased over the past two weeks from 798.86 new cases per day on Dec. 28 to 1,003.71 new cases per day on Monday.
The number of people hospitalized with the virus in the state increased Monday to 484 from Sunday’s 475, but it remains less than half of November’s peak of 987.