OneWorld gearing up to vaccinate thousands of meatpackers in Douglas County

In less than two weeks OneWorld Community Health Centers will start vaccinations at local plants
Published: Mar. 9, 2021 at 10:39 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - In less than two weeks a massive effort will get underway to vaccinate thousands of meatpackers in Douglas County.

OneWorld Community Health Centers in South Omaha will start administering the vaccine at five meatpacking plants, totaling roughly 4,000 workers. This effort is on top of the vaccinations and they’re already pumping out at their clinic.

Just a handful of staff is administering roughly 150 doses a day.

“It keeps me up at night, it keeps me very busy,” said Nancy Luna, COVID Service-Line Manager, OneWorld Community Health Centers.

They’re working their patient list of nearly 50,000, vaccinating those who qualify for the shot right now and as much of the public as they can.

“We’re getting more people trained almost on a weekly basis,” said Luna. “Starting to hire and get more people trained and getting ready to have more availability to vaccinate.”

Ready themselves for the push at five local meatpacking plants. They need more help and it’s not just with giving the shots.

“Particularly as we move off-site to go to packing housing or other large employers in the area we need people to help us do the registration in advance, get information into the electronic health record,” said Andrea Skolkin, CEO, OneWorld Community Health Centers. “Then on the day of, helping people through the line. We need people to help explain how the vaccine works for those who have questions.”

OneWorld is in a unique position to access the vaccine after being chosen to take part in a federal program that send doses directly to them.

“250 health centers were selected for that and we were one of those,” said Skolkin. “We’ve ramped up and doing our best,” she said, noting they’re hoping the state can step up and help out as well.

“We’ll be talking to them tomorrow morning actually, about how they might be able to come and help us -- and want they want to do and are qualified to do,” said Skolkin.

The National Guard helped with COVID-19 testing at OneWorld but whether it’s an option for vaccines is up in the air.

“They did help us before and they were wonderful and we’d love to have them back again - if you’re listening,” said Skolkin. “But it’ll be up to the state -- they’re the one who has to make those requests.”

In the meantime those on the frontlines are keeping their eyes on the end; every shot one step closer.

“We have faith now,” said Luna. “We’re looking towards it you know, so we’re having hope, so that keeps us going.”

OneWorld will be administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at the meatpacking plants, which is a single dose.

They don’t expect to vaccinate all 4,000 workers at the five plants, noting some may not want the vaccine, while others may already be signed up for the shot with the Douglas County Health Department.

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