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People as young as 63 eligible for vaccine in Lincoln this week; Brazil variant found in Douglas County
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People as young as 63 eligible for vaccine in Lincoln this week; Brazil variant found in Douglas County

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Vaccine Clinic

People as young as 63 years old are eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine Thursday and Friday at clinics at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

The CDC has released guidelines for people that have received all doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Here are five things you can do if you’ve been vaccinated. If everyone in your household is vaccinated, you can visit other fully vaccinated households indoors and without a mask. You can also meet unvaccinated people from a single household indoors without a face mask. If you’re meeting people from different households, the CDC says that you should still wear a mask and social distance. You are allowed to skip quarantine and testing if you've been exposed to the coronavirus but are vaccinated. Those who have been putting off medical appointments can now attend them if vaccinated. Experts believe that as more people get vaccinated, many businesses will start to require proof of vaccination.

The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department is dipping its toes into the next phase of the COVID-19 vaccine program.

The department had originally planned to vaccinate people 65 and older, educators and some other front-line workers included in Phase 1B of the state's plan at clinics Thursday and Friday at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

But on Wednesday, the city said in a news release that vaccine will be offered to people as young as 63.

Officials were still working Wednesday afternoon to fill all of the available appointments.

Leah Bucco-White, a health department spokeswoman, said the goal of the Thursday and Friday clinics is to largely complete all priority groups in Phase 1B, but due to response so far, there were enough appointments available to open them up to people 63 years old and up.

"We are in the process of scheduling appointments for both days so we don’t have firm numbers yet for how many of those scheduled are age 63 or 64," Bucco-White said in an email.

The move to vaccinate younger residents means the local health district is joining several others around the state in jumping to Phase 2A of the vaccine program, which includes people ages 50 to 64 and those with serious medical conditions that make them more prone to complications from COVID-19.

Other districts that have announced plans to start vaccinating people in Phase 2A include the Kearney-based Two Rivers Public Health Department, North Central District Health Department, Loup Basin Public Health Department and West Central District Health Department headquartered in North Platte.

Some Nebraskans in 50-64 age group now receiving COVID-19 vaccine

According to figures posted by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Lancaster County has fully vaccinated 16.8% of residents age 16 and over.

Statewide, 15.3% of the 16-and-over population has been fully vaccinated.

Douglas County recorded the state's first cases of the Brazil variant of COVID-19, known as the P.1 Variant, on Wednesday.

The variant, identified in at least 10 other states, is likely more contagious than other strains of the virus, officials said, but vaccines are effective in preventing it.

Lancaster County on Thursday reported 42 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases to 28,965. There were no new deaths reported, and the number of people hospitalized for the disease was 27, up slightly from 26 on Tuesday.

VACCINATION CLINICS IN LINCOLN:

Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

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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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