Wednesday Nov. 3 COVID-19 update: Pediatric vaccinations could begin next week

Published: Nov. 3, 2021 at 11:32 AM CDT
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(WOWT) - Below are today’s vaccination updates as well as data reports on new cases and other COVID-19 stats reported by health officials across Nebraska and western Iowa.

Keep scrolling to find helpful links and other information, including phone numbers to call for help getting signed up for your vaccine.

Nebraska data snapshot

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday updated its data on hospital capacity as well as COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and vaccinations. DHHS also added two new data tabs for flu and RSV, renaming the entire data collection the “Nebraska Hospital Capacity & Respiratory Illness Dashboard.”

CASES: DHHS reported an additional 5,058 cases — 305 of them delta variants — of COVID-19 since last week, bringing the total number of verified cases for the state to 287,345, including 6,076 variant cases.

As of Oct. 31, the state’s positivity had risen to 10.3%, up from 9.4% reported last week and 8.6% reported the week before. The state reported more than 9,000 more COVID-19 tests administered in the past week — a total of 53,583 for the week — compared to the week before, when 44,376 tests were administered.

DEATHS: DHHS reported 39 COVID-19 deaths since the week prior, bringing the state’s COVID-19 death toll to 2,508. Last week, eight COVID-19 deaths were reported across the state; the week before, there were 30; and about a month ago, the state reported no COVID-19 deaths.

HOSPITALIZATIONS: The state’s health department reported 38 more COVID-19 hospitalizations this week — the biggest jump since mid-September. At 417 patients, however, it’s two more hospitalizations that were reported about a month ago. As of Wednesday, there were 240 adult COVID-19 patients, 132 of them in ICUs; and seven pediatric patients, up from three reported last week.

Overall hospital occupancy, which is based on staffing levels, improved this week. Last week, DHHS reported 76% of 3,109 adult beds were full, while 80% of 182 pediatric beds were occupied. As of Wednesday, 77% of 3,174 adult beds are occupied, while 78% of 189 pediatric beds are filled.

More ICU beds were available this week, with 89% (or 482) adult beds occupied, compared with 86% (of 484) reported last week; and 78% (of 160) pediatric ICU beds available, compared with 77% (of 155) pediatric beds filled last week.

VACCINATIONS: Currently, 68.8% of Nebraskans ages 12 and older are fully vaccinated — a 0.3% increase from last week.

VACCINATION BREAKTHROUGHS: DHHS updated its vaccination breakthrough data Wednesday, adding stats collected between Sept. 25 and Oct. 23.

Of the 1,083,035 fully vaccinated Nebraskans — 21,975 more than the last time the data was updated — 1.46% of them later tested positive for COVID-19, compared to 8.9% of those partially vaccinated; and 0.03% of them ended up hospitalized, compared to 1.5% of those partially vaccinated.

The state’s death rate among the fully vaccinated is 0.011%, compared to 0.1% of those who are partially vaccinated.

Douglas County preparing for child vaccinations

Douglas County Health Director Dr. Lindsay Huse said Wednesday morning that she hopes to have the kid-sized Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at the health department by the end of the week.

Dr. Huse confirmed the state will send the vaccine doses out to health departments and that parents should be able to get their eligible children vaccinated early next week.

She said it’s exciting news as the holidays are approaching.

“This is it. I mean, I feel like the light at the end of the tunnel is growing a little bit — that’s great news. But we’re still in the tunnel,” Dr. Huse told 6 News. “I still want to recommend and encourage people to get out there and get their vaccinations, especially now. This is the time to do it — ahead of the holidays... Get it off your to-do list so you can enjoy your Thanksgiving and your Christmas with your families and your friends.”

Dr. Huse said there’s a possibility that area pharmacies could receive the vaccine sooner, so it would be a good idea to check with your pharmacy or doctor.

Children’s Hospital planning vaccination clinics

Children’s Hospital is planning to offer dedicated COVID-19 vaccination clinics for about a month, starting by Thursday, Nov. 11 — or sooner, if they are supplied the doses before that.

Hospital officials are planning to operate their pediatric COVID-19 vaccination clinics from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursdays and 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays at both their West Village Pointe and Spring Valley offices.

After Saturday, Dec. 11, pediatric COVID-19 vaccinations will be available by appointment at any Children’s Hospital location.

Pharmacies scheduling child vaccination appointments

Following Tuesday’s authorization by the CDC of Pfizer’s pediatric COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11, Hy-Vee and Walgreens are among those taking appointments for the new age group.

Hy-Vee encouraged parents and guardians to use its online scheduler to find a location near them where the pediatric vaccine is available, noting the child doses will be available by appointment only.

“The Pediatric Pfizer-BioNTech is a smaller dosage than the Pfizer-BioNTech authorized for individuals ages 12 and older, so it’s important that individuals select the vaccine option appropriate for their age when scheduling for an appointment online,” Hy-Vee’s release states.

Walgreens has a portal to schedule pediatric appointments on its website as well, as does CVS.

Methodist doctors discuss pediatric vaccinations

Methodist pediatricians Dr. Matthew Gibson, Dr. Natalie Fleming, and Dr. Elizabeth Walenz share why they believe the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine is so important for children.

Do kids need the COVID-19 vaccine? “Resoundingly, that answer is yes,” says Methodist pediatrician Dr. Matthew...

Posted by Methodist Health System on Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Douglas County update

The Douglas County Health Department reported three COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday: a woman in her 60s, a man in his 50s, and a man in his 70s have died — none of them were vaccinated.

The local death toll now stands at 831.

DCHD also confirmed 182 new positive COVID-19 cases since Tuesday, keeping the seven-day average at 156 cases. The health department has reported 87,822 positive cases to date.

Local hospital capacity stats are updated daily according to staffing levels. As of Tuesday afternoon, hospitals were 85% full, with 201 beds available, down from 212 available Monday. ICUs were 83% full, compared to 91% reported Friday, with 49 beds still available.

DCHD reported a decrease in COVID-19 patients in local hospitals. As of Tuesday afternoon, there were 195 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, down from 201 on Monday; Tuesday’s total includes four pediatric patients — one less from the previous day. As of Tuesday afternoon, 73 COVID-19 patients were being cared for in ICUs, up from 70 on Monday and 65 reported Friday. Of those, 44 of those patients are on ventilators, up from 41 reported the day prior, and 32 reported on Friday.

Additionally, four adult patients are awaiting COVID-19 test results.

Nebraska slated to get 64,200 pediatric vaccine doses

(AP) - Health officials in Nebraska say they’re expecting 64,200 initial doses of the coronavirus vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.

The allocation is enough to cover nearly 35% of the 186,200 Nebraska children who fall in that age range. Don Herrington, the acting director of the state Department of Health Services, recommends that parents have their children vaccinated against COVID-19.

He says pediatric vaccinations will be available in some areas at special vaccination clinics arranged with schools and local health care providers. Retail pharmacies and more than 900 providers such as pediatricians and community health clinics also will provide vaccinations to children.

Iowa surpasses 7,000 deaths from COVID-19

(AP) - State public health data shows Iowa has surpassed 7,000 deaths from COVID-19.

The Iowa Department of Public Health reported 104 additional deaths occurring between Aug. 8 and Oct. 30. That brings the state death total to 7,069 since early 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic began.

Iowa ranks 26th in the nation in the number of deaths per 100,000 people since January 2020 and 13th nationally in number of deaths per 100,000 in the past seven days.

Data this week suggests an uptick in virus spread in Iowa as the seven-day moving average of daily cases increased to more than 1,000 a day again after dropping below 1,000 for the past two weeks.

Vaccination clinics

Nebraska DHHS

Federal Retail Pharmacy Program: Pharmacies in and near the Omaha-metro area currently participating in the program include:

  • Medicine Man Pharmacy, 15615 Pacific St. Suite 8, Omaha NE 668118
  • Think Aksarben Pharmacy LLC, 7100 W. Center Road, Omaha NE 68106
  • ViaRx, 825 N. 90th St., Omaha NE 68114
  • Walmart, 3010 E. 23rd St., Fremont NE 68025

Retail pharmacy vaccine sign-ups: Baker’s | CVS | Hy-Vee | Kohll’s | Kubat | Sam’s Club | Walmart

Douglas County

Douglas County COVID-19 vaccination clinics are scheduled at several local schools and events this week:

  • 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Heart Ministry, located at 2222 Binney St. – This clinic will offer Pfizer shots only.
  • 1-6 p.m., drive through CHI Health Center Lot D, off Abbott Drive
  • 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Douglas County Health Department, located at 1111 S. 41st St.
  • 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Douglas County Health Department, located at 1111 S. 41st St.
  • 9 a.m.- 2 p.m. at Skinner Magnet Center, located 4303 N. 33rd St. – This clinic will offer Moderna shots only.

Today's #Covid19 Update is right here: #Omaha #NECOVID19 #inthistogether

Posted by Douglas County Health Department on Monday, November 1, 2021

DCHD booster plan

All Douglas County Health Department pop-up clinics will offer only Pfizer COVID-19 booster vaccinations, but once Moderna and Johnson & Johnson boosters are authorized, the health department plans to have all three available at its in-house and drive-through clinics.

Booster shots are recommended for people who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine and are:

  • ages 65 and older
  • anyone age 18 and older who lives in a long-term care setting
  • anyone age 18 and older who has underlying medical conditions
  • anyone age 18 and older who lives or works in a high-risk setting

The CDC is recommending booster doses be administered six months after receiving your second dose, and has authorized brand crossover for booster shots. Anyone with questions is advised to contact their healthcare provider for further guidance.

Boosters are also recommended for those who received the J&J vaccine at least two months ago, according to the health department.

Those with questions about boosters, particularly those with questions about underlying medical conditions or being in a high-risk setting, are advised to contact their healthcare providers or call the DCHD Information Line at 402-444-3400.

Underlying medical conditions that qualify for boosters include: cancer; chronic kidney disease; chronic lung diseases like COPD, moderate to severe asthma, interstitial lung disease, damaged or scarred lung tissue, cystic fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension, etc.; certain neurological conditions like dementia, Alzheimer’s, etc.; diabetes; Down syndrome; certain heart conditions such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies, hypertension; HIV/AIDS or others in immunocompromised states; liver disease like cirrhosis, liver scarring, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, etc.; those who are overweight or obese; pregnant and recently pregnant people who are 42 or more days past the end of their pregnancy; certain hemoglobin disorders like sickle cell disease, thalassemia, etc.; current or former smokers; recipients of organ, blood stem cell, or bone marrow transplants; cerebrovascular disease like stroke, etc.; and substance use disorders including alcohol, opioid, cocaine use disorders, etc.

Those “high-risk” occupations qualifying for boosters include: first-responders such as healthcare workers, firefighters, police, and congregate care staff; education staff such as teachers, support staff, daycare workers; food and agricultural workers; manufacturing workers; corrections workers; U.S. Postal workers; public transit workers; grocery store workers; and residents of homeless shelters or correctional facilities.

Children’s Hospital

Children’s Hospital is planning to offer dedicated COVID-19 vaccination clinics for about a month, starting by Thursday, Nov. 11 — or sooner, if they are supplied the doses before that.

  • 5-7 p.m. Thursdays at West Village Pointe and Spring Valley offices
  • 8 a.m.-noon Saturdays at West Village Pointe and Spring Valley offices

After Saturday, Dec. 11, pediatric COVID-19 vaccinations will be available by appointment at any Children’s Hospital location.

Nebraska Medicine

Nebraska Medicine is offering COVID-19 vaccinations at clinics in several retail pharmacies and health centers around the Omaha-metro.

NebMed will provide Pfizer vaccinations by appointment at:

For those looking for walk-in appointments, single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccinations will be available at these pharmacies:

  • Outpatient Pharmacy at Bellevue Health Center, located at 25th Street and Highway 370, will offer J&J vaccinations from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.
  • Outpatient Pharmacy at Durham Outpatient Center, located at 45th and Emile streets, will offer J&J vaccinations from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays; and from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the weekends.

Children’s Hospital

  • Tuesday and Thursday appointments available at the Mission Village location, 16909 Q St. Call 402-955-7575 or 402-955-SHOT (7468) for available times.
  • Thursday and Friday appointments available at the Dundee location, 4825 Dodge St. Call 402-955-7676 or 402-955-SHOT (7468) for available times.

Around Omaha

SOUTH OMAHA: Testing and vaccinations available at OneWorld, located at 4920 S. 30th St. Call 402-734-4110 to make an appointment for vaccinating anyone age 12 and older.

CHARLES DREW HEALTH CENTER: Call 402-451-3553 to schedule an appointment.

CHURCH CLINIC: Metropolitan Community Chuch of Omaha will host a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. No ID is required, but a parent or guardian must be present at the clinic with teens ages 12-18.

MCC FORT OMAHA: Vaccinations also will be distributed Mondays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Metropolitan Community College’s Fort Omaha campus, located at 5300 N. 30th St. Appointments will be made through the county’s vaccination registry.

TOTAL WELLNESS: DCHD has been working with Total Wellness, located at 9320 H Court, to establish a vaccination clinic from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

VETERANS: Any eligible veterans can go to the Omaha VA Medical Center’s COVID-19 vaccination clinics’ walk-in hours from 9 a.m. to noon weekdays and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays at the new Ambulatory Care Center.

Sarpy/Cass health district

The Sarpy/Cass Health Department offers COVID-19 vaccinations at its offices, located at 701 Olson Drive in Papillion:

  • Tuesdays: 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Wednesdays: 1-6 p.m.

The health department offers the first and second doses of Pfizer and Modern vaccines, Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) single doses, and booster doses of all three vaccines.

Sarpy/Cass boosters

The Sarpy/Cass Health Department has three clinics planned for the coming weeks, with first and second vaccinations and booster doses — Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. Appointments are encouraged, but not required.

  • Saturday, Oct. 30: The clinic will run from 9-11 a.m. at the Cass County Fairgrounds Exposition Building, 8420 144th St. in Weeping Water.
  • Monday, Nov. 1: The clinic will run from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Plattsmouth Senior Center, 308 S. 18th St.
  • Friday, Nov. 5: The clinic will run from 10 a.m.-noon at Bellevue Senior Center, 109 W. 22nd Ave.

Three Rivers health district

  • In Dodge County, the Three Rivers Fremont location, at 2400 N. Lincoln Ave., is open for walk-ins from 3 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday; and noon to 3:30 p.m. Friday.
  • In Saunders County, the Three Rivers clinic in Lake Wanahoo, at 1320 E. 31st St., is open to walk-ins from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on the first and third Mondays of the month.
Off-line help

CHI HEALTH VACCINE INFORMATION: The info line is available at 402-717-1255 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily in August.

NEBRASKA VACCINE HOTLINE: Nebraskans can call 531-249-1873 or toll-free at 833-998-2275 for more information on the state’s COVID-19 vaccination process.

DOUGLAS COUNTY HELPLINE: Local COVID-19 information, in Spanish and English, is available from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, except for holidays. Call 402-444-3400 for assistance.

IOWA VACCINE HOTLINE: Older or home-bound Iowans looking for help scheduling a COVID-19 vaccination appointment can call 1-866-468-7887 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday; or contact Connections Area Agency on Aging at 712-328-2540 or 1-800-432-9209.

Resource links

Where to get a test: Douglas County

Vaccine sign-up: Douglas County | Sarpy/Cass | Three Rivers | Nebraska

Vaccinations at hospitals: Nebraska Medicine | Methodist Hospital | Children’s Hospital

Retail pharmacy vaccine sign-ups: Hy-Vee | Walmart | Sam’s Club | Baker’s | Kohll’s | CVS | Kubat

Vaccine information: Douglas County | Douglas County clinics | Nebraska || Iowa | Pottawattamie County | Mills County | Fremont County

COVID-19 dashboards: Douglas County | Sarpy County | Three Rivers Health District | Lancaster County | Nebraska | Iowa | Worldwide

School info: Omaha Public Schools | Millard Public Schools | Bellevue Public Schools | Westside Community Schools | Gretna Public Schools | Elkhorn Public Schools | Council Bluffs Community Schools | Lincoln Public Schools | UNL | UNO | Midland University

COVID-19 risk dials: Lincoln-Lancaster County quick search: COVID-19 | Coronavirus | Vaccine

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