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COVID-19 vaccinations ramping up in Nebraska, Ricketts says
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COVID-19 vaccinations ramping up in Nebraska, Ricketts says

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COVID Vaccine, 12.31

A Moderna COVID-19 vaccine vial.

Gov. Pete Ricketts said Friday that COVID-19 vaccinations in Nebraska "will get ramped up in the next couple of weeks" as delivery of the vaccine to the state grows and providers resolve logistics challenges.

Ricketts said 133,000 doses of vaccine have been delivered to providers and 60,000 doses have been administered. Second doses already have been administered to many of the highest-priority recipients, he noted.

Atop the list are frontline health care workers and the residents and staff at long-term care facilities.

Nebraskans next in line are those who are 75 or older, with vaccination of older Nebraskans in Lincoln and Lancaster County temporarily estimated to begin before the end of the month.

Some parts of Nebraska are already giving COVID-19 vaccines to those 75 and older

"The program is going along as well as can be expected," Ricketts said. "We will have the resources to carry out this vaccination program."

Ricketts noted that hospitalization of COVID-19 patients in Nebraska has dropped below 500 for the first time since October, with current figures now standing at coronavirus patients occupying 491 of the state's 4,051 staffed hospital beds.

Once again, in an answer to a question at his news briefing, the governor said U.S. citizenship is not required and is "not requested before you get the vaccine" in Nebraska.

Ricketts has been targeted on Twitter by New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for earlier comments and news reports that suggested he might seek to deny vaccinations for undocumented immigrants working at meat processing plants. 

The governor urged Nebraskans to get tested for the virus even if they are experiencing no symptoms in order to help prevent spread of the disease in the state.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7248 or dwalton@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSdon

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