Omaha health officials stress importance of updated COVID shots, other vaccines
New COVID shots are available in Omaha now
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - ‘Tis the season, not for giving, but for getting. Getting updated immunizations, that is.
Companies across the Omaha metro are holding flu shot events to keep their employees safe, where that old saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, rings true.
Cortney Donaldson is a pharmacist at HyVee. She tells 6 News there have been some changes in vaccinations to which the public needs to be made aware.
“In probably the last three weeks, there’s been another vaccine, the RSV shot, that’s important for anybody 65 and older,” Donaldson said. “We have already seen a good amount of people getting that. There’s still the pneumonia shot. A new one came out called Prevnar 20 which is kind of the one we all should get. There were two before that, so I would check with my doctor or pharmacist before I get any of them to make sure I’m getting the correct one.”
All of these vaccines sound like a lot of trips to the doctor or pharmacy but don’t worry, health officials say people can get the flu, COVID, and RSV vaccines all at the same time.
Molly Elston is a clinical operations supervisor for the Douglas County Health Department. She says not to underestimate the importance of COVID and flu vaccinations.
“Although the COVID strains that are currently out there in the community are perhaps less virulent in terms of symptoms, causing maybe a little less death and hospitalization than the original strain, they still do cause a good number of hospitalizations and death that can be prevented by vaccination,” Elston said. “So, vaccinations are one of the best tools we have really to help keep folks out of the hospital and keep folks healthy.”
County health officials say an average of 220 people each week test positive for COVID, and that number may be low due to the increase in home-testing capabilities.
As the COVID vaccine continues to move into the Omaha metro, there is one more change.
“Insurance should cover the COVID-19 vaccine and for those for whom it does not cover the COVID vaccine, there are options where you can still get the COVID vaccine for free. So everyone should have a free option for COVID.”
To check for locations that have the latest COVID shots, visit vaccines.gov.
On Thursday, a Douglas County Health Department spokesman told 6 News that 153 COVID-19 cases had been reported in the last seven days. The county has confirmed 185,393 cases to date.
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