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Douglas County COVID-19 vaccination plan: fewer mass clinics, preparations for pediatrics

Published: May. 4, 2021 at 12:10 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The time has come to move away from mass vaccination clinics.

That’s the word from Douglas County Health Director Dr. Adi Pour, who told county commissioners Tuesday morning that the clinic health at the Creighton Rasmussen Center will close after this Saturday.

The reason: The health department is no longer vaccinating thousands of people at one time. Instead, the focus is on not wasting doses, and giving them out in smaller settings.

“We are moving into smaller clinics, and we are moving into mobile clinics because now it is... We need to celebrate every dose and every person that we get vaccinated,” Dr. Pour said.

Dr. Pour also shared that not only is Douglas County not ordering more COVID-19 vaccine doses, but the state of Nebraska as a whole also is not ordering more doses right now.

The county is also gearing up to vaccinate younger children.

Right now, health officials are waiting on emergency use authorization from the FDA of the Pfizer vaccine for those ages 12-15. In order to be prepared, Douglas County is working with pediatric clinics to teach them how to administer the Pfizer shots.

While children will be allowed to get their vaccines at regular clinics, the majority of shots will be given by their healthcare providers.

“I always tell individuals, especially families now who are wondering if their children should be vaccinated, that probably the most trusted source for the family is the pediatrician who has seen the children since they were young,” Dr. Pour said.

Dr. Pour said the emergency use authorization could come as soon as next week.

As of 1 p.m. Tuesday, the county vaccination dashboard shows 46.2% of eligible residents have been fully vaccinated, and 58.3% have had at least one dose. The state Department of Health & Human Services dashboard shows 45.1% of eligible Nebraskans are fully vaccinated, with 11.6% having received at least one shot.

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