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Lancaster County lining up clinics for students as vaccine opens to ages 16 and over
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Lancaster County lining up clinics for students as vaccine opens to ages 16 and over

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Drive-Thru Vaccinations, 4.14

Registered nurse Anne Kingsley adminsters a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday during a Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services drive-thru clinic at the Gateway Mall. 

"COVID arm" is a term experts are using to describe a delayed itchy rash or dull pain following a COVID-19 vaccine. The condition is currently most strongly linked to the Moderna mRNA vaccines but can occur after others. Doctors say that the effect is harmless and people should not let it deter them from getting their second dose of the vaccine. The symptoms can appear after a week since someone received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Symptoms include redness, swelling, tenderness or a skin rash eight or more days after receiving the injection. Researchers say that the reaction should fade by itself after four or five days. Researchers say that less than 1% of those involved in early trials of the Moderna vaccine developed a raised or itchy rash.

Lancaster County has now officially opened up COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to anybody 16 and older.

Lincoln Public Schools sent an email to parents Thursday informing them that 16- and 17-year-olds can now get vaccinated through a Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department clinic.

The email said appointments are available for Friday's clinic at Pinnacle Bank Arena. The local health department said it expects to begin holding clinics for high schools next week.

High schools will be sending information to families with site-specific registration links for the clinics. Families are asked to register by Tuesday, after which they will be notified to schedule an appointment.

A clinic for college students is scheduled for Tuesday at the NU Coliseum. Students were notified by email Thursday and asked to schedule an appointment.

For University of Nebraska-Lincoln students who get the first-dose Pfizer vaccine at Tuesday's clinic, a second-dose clinic will be scheduled the week of May 10, after the end of spring semester classes.

In its email to students, UNL said those in on-campus housing can remain in Lincoln at no cost until receiving their second dose.

Nebraska residents 16 and older have been able to get vaccinated at pharmacies for a couple of weeks now, but this is the first time Lancaster County has extended eligibility for those under 18.

Lancaster has lowest per-capita rate of COVID-19 among largest Nebraska counties, Lincoln mayor says

The Pfizer vaccine is the only one approved by the Food and Drug Administration for people 16 and older. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are approved only for those 18 and older.

Use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been paused while federal health officials investigate six reports of rare blood clots in women who received the vaccine, including one in Omaha who remains hospitalized in critical condition.

As of Thursday morning, the health department reported that about 40% of Lancaster County residents have been fully vaccinated and 58% have received at least one dose of the vaccine. The health department has set a goal of getting 75% of residents vaccinated.

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Business reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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