The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is being distributed to nursing homes around the county.
In a news release, Three Rivers Public Health Department said the process of vaccinating individuals for COVID-19 will be laid out in phases as per instructions from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.
Phase 1A, tier 2 and 3 are being carried out first. Phase 1A, tier 2 will vaccinate those who are primary care nursing, primary care physicians and home health staff/hospice. Phase 1A tier 3 includes pharmacy, oral surgeons, dentists, dental assistants and hygienists and school nurses.
The vaccine is not available to the general public yet.
According to a COVID-19 update for the week of Dec. 29 from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, more than 27,000 first doses of the two-part vaccine were given across Nebraska hospitals, health care and emergency medical service workers.
On-site vaccinations were also given to residents and staff in long-term care facilities. There are more than 130 clinics scheduled in the upcoming weeks.
Carter Place in Blair does not have a date for its vaccine clinic yet, though it is preparing for distribution, said Louis Kievit, vice president of sales and customer engagement for Enlivant, which owns Carter Place, in an email with the Enterprise.
Crowell Memorial Home provided employees and residents with the first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 29, according to a post on the facility's Facebook page.
Jennifer Globe, a housekeeper for Crowell Memorial Home, was among those who received the shot. Those who wanted to receive their first dose of the vaccine had to fill out paperwork before the clinic, which was given by students from the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
"It was a short process," she said. "(We were) in and out."
Globe said she didn't really feel the shot, but had mild symptoms during the day.
"They have you sit for 15 to 20 minutes so they can monitor you," she said. "I had a little bit of dizziness later on, but not much. So far, I haven't had any issues with it — my arm's just a little sore, but nothing major."
Globe said she feels relieved the vaccine is being distributed to long-term care facilities and health professionals.
"I've seen, working at the home, a lot of residents that are down because they can't see family members and their loved ones," she said. "I think getting them the vaccination is going to put us closer to being able to have visits for our residents."
Good Shepherd Lutheran Community distributed the first round of vaccines to staff and almost all residents Dec. 29.
Sharon Colling, administrator at Good Shepherd Lutheran Community, said there has been no significant reactions to the vaccine.
"It was quick, painless and we're so excited," she said. "It was almost a party atmosphere because it's the first step to getting back to a normal life."
The second clinic will be given Jan. 19 for the second round of vaccines, and for the rest of the staff to receive their first dose.
"We divided the staff into two different administering times so if they had a reaction, it wouldn't negatively impact staffing," Colling said.