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Douglas County cracking down on COVID-19 vaccine ‘line-jumpers’

DCHD: ‘We know that people are going to try, and some people are going to get away with it.’
Published: Mar. 25, 2021 at 8:59 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The Douglas County Health Department is cracking down on people trying to get the vaccine who don’t yet qualify.

“We know that people are going to try and some people are going to get away with it, but we do remind our partners in the community who are giving the vaccine to follow the rules,” said Phil Rhoney with the Douglas County Health Department.

But not everyone is following the rules. 6 News spoke with several people last weekend at a mass clinic who got the shot without meeting the requirements.

“Obviously, I wanted people, workers, teachers, people that needed to get them to get them first; but I got the opportunity to get one, so I got one,” said one person who received the shot without being eligible.

But the health department recently canceled roughly 200 scheduled vaccine appointments made by people who don’t qualify, Rooney said.

“We did have an incident this week where a rather large company — someone within it — got a copy of one of the links we send to people who are eligible. Friends share it, and we found out,” said Rooney, noting when they find out people are jumping the line, they put an end to it. “We sent them a letter saying you are not qualified do not get the vaccine, and please quit sending emails. And we went around and canceled I think it was 200 people that had signed up.”

Health officials are glad to see enthusiasm for the vaccine but are asking people to wait a bit longer.

“There’s thousands of doses going out a week, and more and more outlets. And we’re getting to the point where everyone’s going to be able to be in the pool pretty soon,” said Rooney, noting until then stick to the requirements and don’t skip ahead to get the shot.

“It’s still a concern because we don’t want people taking away vaccine from those who need, who are more likely to be badly impacted by the disease than they are,” Rooney said. “So please, people, wait your turn — it’s coming very soon.”

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