Vaccine Distribution Expands

As of last week, all residents of the Public Health Solutions (PHS) district who are 18 years and older are eligible to schedule an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccination, regardless of comorbidities or high-risk medical conditions.
The PHS District includes Fillmore, Gage, Jefferson, Saline, and Thayer counties. 
PHS and district healthcare providers have worked together to make this decision in an effort to vaccinate anyone who is wanting a COVID-19 vaccination. PHS will be offering multiple community clinics throughout the district. 
Beginning Monday, April 5, all clinics in the PHS district will be scheduled solely through the state registry system (VRAS). To register, visit vaccinate.ne.gov. After registering, an email notification will be sent when it is time to schedule an appointment. Note that this email may look like spam or junk mail as the subject line contains “DHHS-DO NOT REPLY”.
Local participating pharmacies in the district are also using the state registry to schedule appointments. 
Only individuals who reside in the PHS district are eligible for vaccination at a PHS community clinic.
The first clinic will be in Saline County on April 1. PHS has announced, “All appointments scheduled through the PHS office for the April 1st Saline Clinic are now FULL!”
Community Clinic Schedule:
• Gage County Fairgrounds, Tuesday, April 6, 1000 W. Scott Rd, Beatrice.
• Jefferson County Fairgrounds, Thursday, April 15, 56885 PWF Road, Fairbury.
• Fillmore County. Fairgrounds, Thursday, April 22, 641 N. 5th St., Geneva.
• Thayer County. Fairgrounds, Thursday, April 29, 1302 4th St., Deshler.
PHS mostly distributes the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which require two doses. The second doses will be scheduled for May.
In addition, the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program is also expanding eligibility. Doses available at pharmacy locations are in addition to the state’s weekly allocation of first and second doses being administered by Nebraska’s 19 local health departments. 
PHS issued a statement last week, “PHS wants to reassure everyone that there is vaccine available and even if you are unable to get scheduled for a clinic right now, there will be several more opportunities to do so. Everyone who wants to be vaccinated will be able to.” 
District Cases
The week, PHS received a report of one COVID-19-related hospitalization, no COVID-19-related deaths and one new confirmed-positive case in the district. The positivity for Jefferson County last week was 6.67 percent.
Going forward, the risk dial will only represent the district as a whole and not individual counties. According to PHS, this is so that they can, “prioritize and focus our attention on vaccine distribution.” 
In previous weeks, some counties, such as Jefferson, were in the “green,” or low risk zone, and other counties in the “yellow,” or moderate risk zone. The district as a whole remains in the “yellow” zone.

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