Health department urges Lancaster County residents to get updated COVID-19 boosters
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Lincoln Lancaster-County Health Officials updated the community on the new COVID-19 boosters for people age 12 and older at a briefing on Tuesday.
The CDC recently approved updated boosters for everyone 12 and older. These boosters provide protection against variants in the Lancaster County community, like BA4 and BA5, and boost the body’s immunity against COVID-19.
“COVID is still with us, and there’s a potential for an increase in infections this fall and winter due to people spending more time indoors where respiratory viruses, like COVID, can spread more easily,” said LLCHD Health Director Pat Lopez.
Lopez said more than 74% of COVID-19 cases in Lancaster County have been with people who are not up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines, or who were unvaccinated.
According to the LLCHD, unvaccinated individuals are 14 times more likely to die than vaccinated individuals, and individuals are three times more likely to die if they are not up to date on their boosters.
Lab-confirmed cases reported today: 79
Total cases: 79,843
Total number of deaths: 454
Hospitalizations for COVID-19 patients:
35 with 29 from Lancaster County (one on a ventilator) and 6 from other communities (one on a ventilator). Note: The hospitalization number includes patients who no longer test positive for COVID-19 but continue to be hospitalized.
Risk Dial: elevated yellow – risk of COVID-19 spread and impact in the community is moderate. Public health guidance is available at COVID19.lincoln.ne.gov.
At-home test kits available:
At-home test kits are available in the main lobby of the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD), 3131 “O” St., during regular business hours. Test kits are also available at all Lincoln City Library locations.
At-home test reporting:
Lancaster County residents can report results of their at-home COVID-19 tests to the Health Department. The form is available at lincoln.ne.gov/COVID19ReportResults. All information is confidential. People who require assistance completing the form may call LLCHD at 402-441-8006 for assistance.
The Food and Drug Administration recently extended the shelf lives of many home COVID-19 tests. To determine if a test has a new expiration date, visit At-Home OTC COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests | FDA.
- Initiated vaccinations (first doses): 234,237
- Completed vaccinations (second doses and J&J vaccine): 219,284
- Lancaster County residents who are fully vaccinated: 68.7%
- Booster doses: 133,706
Those experiencing some of the most severe outcomes from COVID-19 are unvaccinated. LLCHD strongly encourages residents to stay up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations, which includes getting boosters when eligible. Vaccination helps prevent severe illness, saves lives, and slows further spread of the virus.
COVID-19 vaccine is approved for everyone age 6 months and older.
Booster doses are approved for everyone age 5 and older.
Find a clinic near you at COVID19.lincoln.ne.gov. Residents can also find a local pharmacy offering vaccinations at vaccines.gov or by texting their ZIP code to 438829. Those who do not have online access or who need assistance with registration or scheduling may call LLCHD at 402-441-4200 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. Masks are required at all LLCHD vaccination clinics.
Vaccine for children under age 5
The Health Department provides COVID-19 vaccine for children under age 5. The clinics are smaller clinics that meet the needs of young children. Walk-ins are welcome. Parents and guardians can also schedule an appointment through COVID19.lincoln.ne.gov or by calling 402-441-4200.
Upcoming vaccination clinics - children under age 5 (schedule subject to change; appointments are encouraged; walk-ins also welcome at all locations):
- Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., LLCHD, 3131 “O” St.
- Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., LLCHD
For more information about the availability of vaccine for younger children from local health care providers, LLCHD encourages residents to visit associated websites or social media sites. Several pharmacies are also offering vaccine to younger children by appointment. Contact the pharmacy or visit vaccines.gov to check availability.
Booster doses for children 5 to 11:
A booster dose for children ages 5 to 11 is recommended at five months after completing the initial two-dose series. If children are eligible for a COVID-19 booster dose or haven’t yet received the primary series, LLCHD strongly encourages parents to get them vaccinated as soon as possible.
Updated booster doses for everyone 12 and older
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved updated booster doses for everyone 12 and older. The updated boosters target omicron variants plus original COVID-19. Pfizer’s updated booster is for those age 12 and older. Moderna’s updated booster is for adults age 18 and over. People can receive the updated booster at least two months after a previous booster or completing the primary series.
The Health Department will be providing updated booster doses by appointment only at designated clinics, starting with people age 65 and older and people age 12 and older who are immunocompromised. The Health Department is currently contacting people in these groups by email or phone to schedule an appointment for their updated booster. More clinics and age groups will be added in the near future.
Updated booster dose clinics - people age 65 and older and people age 12 and older who are immunocompromised (schedule subject to change; by appointment only)
- Friday, September 16, 4 to 7 p.m., Northeast High School, 2635 N. 63rd St.
- Saturday, September 17, 7:30 to 11 a.m., Northeast High School
Clinic media note:
Media will be notified regarding coverage of vaccinations. Media must make arrangements with LLCHD prior to visiting any venue.
For information on testing or other COVID-19-related issues, visit COVID19.lincoln.ne.gov or call the LLCHD hotline at 402-441-8006.
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