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COVID-19 vaccine arrives in Nebraska, but it could be a while before cases fall, Ricketts says

COVID-19 vaccine arrives in Nebraska, but it could be a while before cases fall, Ricketts says

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LINCOLN — At least two Nebraska hospitals had received shipments of the Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19 as of midmorning Monday, state officials said. 

Gov. Pete Ricketts and the state's chief medical officer, Dr. Gary Anthone, said the state still expects to get its allotment of 15,600 doses of the vaccine in the next day or two, and that will be distributed to the six other hospitals that were expected to get the initial shipment.

Still uncertain is how many doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be shipped to Nebraska next week. Anthone said that initially, the state was told it would receive 19,000 doses in the second week, but now that is uncertain.

But, he added, a second vaccine, produced by Moderna, is expected to be approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration later this week, bringing a second vaccine on board. Nebraska, according to Anthone, is still expecting to receive 104,000 doses before the end of the year. Front-line health care workers will be the first to get the shots.

Ricketts, at a press briefing Monday morning, said that as vaccinations continue, there eventually should be a decrease in infections and hospitalizations related to COVID-19. But the general population won't receive vaccinations until April — which is when he said he will be vaccinated — so it will take some time.

COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to slowly fall in Nebraska, and stood at 692 as of Monday morning. The state had neared the 1,000 mark in hospitalizations a month ago.

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