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Hospitals in Nebraska, health departments are preparing for the arrival of vaccines against COVID-19



The day Douglas County Health Department offered its latest look at the coronavirus vaccination plan, Pfizer Inc. announced that its own vaccine is 95% effective. local doctors and pharmacists said drug manufacturers would still need emergency approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). After that happened, they said they believed the small amounts of vaccine they would receive would help protect frontline workers who are most at risk on the Omaha and Nebraska subways. that US pharmaceutical companies will still supply some supplies of the drug to other countries. “Based on what they produce, what they produce, and how this spread will continue, is that we will get a very limited vaccine to begin,”

; said DCHD health chief Kerry Kernen. Following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and other national medical institutes, DCHD also plans to move forward with the phased implementation of a vaccine approach that will reach high-risk workers and first responders first. “These are the people who are on the front line,” Kernen said. “Emergency and intensive care units, their primary care clinics, their emergency care and long-term care staff who really work with those at high risk.” “This is amazing news,” said pharmacist Mike Tiesi. “It’s very positive to look ahead.” Tiesi leads the pharmacy services team for CHI Health as its vice president. He said several places in the hospital system have the necessary ultra-low freezers needed to maintain the version of the Pfizer vaccine. “We have a freezer in St. Elizabeth, Lincoln, which is ultra-low. We have access to one in St. Francis, Grand Island.” In the coming weeks, Thiesy said CHI Health’s Bergan Mercy Hospital would also have access to its own freezer. At the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Dr. Mark Roop said they also have these specialized freezers ready to receive delivery. Roop said the H1N1 outbreak in 2009 helped determine how UNMC would proceed with the vaccine. “We learned some things from that. We took these lessons to heart and are developing these plans now,” Roop said. Tiesi, meanwhile, said he remained cautiously optimistic that the FDA would soon sign new vaccines. “We expect the vaccine to be approved in the next two weeks for emergency use. We hope to have it at our sites from mid to late December,” Thiesi said. However, Thiesy said the general public may not have access to enough vaccinations until mid-spring 2021. Roop said waiting was the reason communities in Nebraska and Iowa could not afford to leave their guard. He said people should gain time and help blunt the growing curve of cases and hospitalizations by following the recommended actions: avoid large gatherings, wash your hands and wear a face mask.

The day Douglas County Health Department offered its latest look at the coronavirus vaccination plan, Pfizer Inc. announced that its own vaccine is 95% effective.

On Wednesday morning, district health officials also highlighted promising news from Moderna’s version of the vaccine, but warned that first delivery would be limited and that health department strategies were still under development.

Local doctors and pharmacists said drug manufacturers would still need emergency approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

After that happened, they said they believed the small amounts of vaccine they would receive would help protect frontline workers who are most at risk on the Omaha and Nebraska subways.

During the last meeting of the Douglas County Health Council, DCHD officials discussed that US pharmaceutical companies would still supply some supplies of the drug to other countries.

“Based on what they produce, what they produce, and how this spread will continue, is that we will get a very limited vaccine to get started,” said DCHD health chief Kerry Kernen.

Following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and other national medical institutes, DCHD also plans to move forward with the gradual implementation of a vaccination approach that will first reach high-risk workers and first responders.

“These are the people on the front line,” Kernen said. “Emergency and intensive care units, their primary care clinics, their emergency care and long-term care staff who really work with those at high risk.”

“This is amazing news,” said pharmacist Mike Tiesi. “It’s very positive to look ahead.”

Tiesi leads the pharmacy services team for CHI Health as vice president of the department. He said several places in the hospital system have the necessary ultra-low freezers needed to maintain the version of the Pfizer vaccine.

“We have a freezer in St. Elizabeth (in Lincoln) that is extremely low. We have access to one in St. Francis on Grand Island.” In the coming weeks, Thiesy said CHI Health’s Bergan Mercy Hospital would also have access to its own freezer.

At the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Infectious Diseases expert Dr. Mark Rupp said they also have these specialized freezers ready to receive delivery. Roop said the H1N1 outbreak in 2009 helped determine how UNMC would proceed with the vaccine.

“We learned some things from that. We took these lessons to heart and are developing these plans now,” Roop said.

Tiesi, meanwhile, said he remained cautiously optimistic that the FDA would soon sign new vaccines.

“We expect the vaccine to be approved for emergency use in the next two weeks. We hope to have it in our facilities by mid-December,” Thiesi said.

However, Tiesi said the general public may not have access to enough vaccinations until mid-spring 2021.

Roop said the wait was the reason communities in Nebraska and Iowa couldn’t afford to leave their guard. He said people should gain time and help blunt the growing curve of cases and hospitalizations by following the recommended actions: avoid large gatherings, wash your hands and wear a face mask.


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