Public Health Solutions expects that a COVID-19 vaccine could be available for senior citizens in southeast Nebraska as early as next week.
Officials with Public Health Solutions said in a press release the organization is working diligently to rollout vaccine distribution in the most efficient, equitable manner possible.
Distributing the vaccine has become a bit of a moving target as federal and state priorities are changing rapidly.
Currently, Public Health Solutions has been instructed to plan for individuals 65 and older and those with chronic health conditions to move up in priority and begin vaccination when officials are ready for the “1b” priority groups in the district.
Public Health Solutions is working its way through the “1a” priority groups, which is expected to continue through Jan. 22. At that time, it’s believed vaccines will become available for those over 65 years old. The anticipated timeline depends on how much vaccine is available and the projection could change based on vaccine availability.
“It is our sincere hope that most individuals 65 and over and those with chronic health conditions will be vaccinated by their healthcare provider,” a statement from Public Health Solutions read. “PHS will provide community clinics throughout the district for those without a primary care provider or who cannot receive vaccine from their provider. Clinics do not have vaccine right now either so there is no need to call your provider until vaccine is available.”
A vaccine registration is available on Public Health Solutions’ website, though people do not need to register to get a vaccination. The registration is a tool for Public Health Solutions to determine numbers of individuals interested and to share the lists with local healthcare providers as they prepare for vaccine clinics.
“We are currently being overwhelmed with individuals calling our office, asking to be manually entered on the registry by our staff,” the statement went on to say. “We are happy to do this but currently, we cannot possibly keep up with the amount of calls we are receiving. We ask for your patience and courtesy when you speak with our staff. We are trying our best to register everyone that does not have access to the internet.”
Public Health Solutions is emphasizing that primary care physicians are the best place to receive a vaccination. When vaccines are available to offer community clinics, Public Health Solutions will make an announcement and contact individuals on the registry.
“This is a chaotic time and we realize the fear of being missed for a COVID vaccination is high right now,” the statement said. “Rest assured we are committed to providing vaccine to everyone in our district who chooses to be vaccinated. We ask for patience and grace as our staff continues to put in long hours to serve our communities in the best way possible.”