Getting the COVID-19 vaccination is fast, easy and free in northeast Nebraska.
COVID-19 vaccinations are offered in all four counties of the health district: Cedar, Dixon, Thurston and Wayne Counties. There are several providers who offer the vaccine to the general public. Some providers offer walk-in services; others request services be provided by appointment. There are both traveling and stationary vaccination clinics as well as vaccination services provided at places of work and in-home if that service is needed.
If you would like to know how and where you or your loved one can get vaccinated, call Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department at (402) 375-2200. You can also ask your healthcare provider if they have the vaccine available for their patients.
It is important that even those people who are fully vaccinated continue to take recommended actions to protect themselves and others from COVID-19. Viruses mutate often and the new delta variant of the COVID-19 virus is proving to be much more contagious than previous versions of the virus. Because of this, research is showing that people who are fully vaccinated can be infected with the virus, not even know they are sick because the vaccine is working to reduce severe illness, and in turn spread the virus to other people who are not vaccinated. There are many people in our communities who cannot currently get the vaccine, including children ages 0-11 years. By taking the recommended actions to protect yourself and others from COVID-19, you are protecting the children in your community.
COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. COVID-19 vaccines were evaluated in tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials. The vaccines met the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization (EUA). Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines under the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history. Over 346 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been given in the United States from Dec. 14, 2020 through Aug. 2, 2021.
These vaccines have undergone and will continue to undergo the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history through established and new safety monitoring systems to make sure that COVID-19 vaccines are safe. Results from vaccine safety monitoring efforts are reassuring. Some people have no side effects. Others have reported common side effects like swelling, redness and pain at injection site; fever; headache; tiredness; muscle pain; chills; and nausea.
The systems in place to monitor the safety of these vaccines have found only three serious types of health problems after vaccination, all of which are rare. A small number of people have had a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis after vaccination. Anaphylaxis can occur after any vaccination. If this occurs, vaccination providers have medicines available to effectively and immediately treat the reaction. After you get a COVID-19 vaccine, you will be asked to stay for 15–30 minutes so you can be observed in case you have a severe allergic reaction and need immediate treatment.
Another rare health problem after vaccination is Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) which sometimes occurs after receiving the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. This involves the development of blood clots together with low platelets (thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome, or TTS). Women younger than 50 years old should especially be aware of their increased risk for this rare adverse event.
There are other COVID-19 vaccines available for which this risk has not been seen. This adverse event has occurred at a rate of about 7 cases per 1 million vaccinated women between 18 and 49 years old. For women 50 years and older and men of all ages, this adverse event is even more rare.
Cases of myocarditis and pericarditis in adolescents and young adults have been reported, more often after getting the second dose than after the first dose of one of the two mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. These reports are rare and the known and potential benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks, including the possible risk of myocarditis or pericarditis.
Serious side effects that could cause a long-term health problem are extremely unlikely following any vaccination, including COVID-19 vaccination. Vaccine monitoring has historically shown that side effects generally happen within six weeks of receiving a vaccine dose. For this reason, the FDA required each of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines to be studied for at least two months, or eight weeks, after the final dose for their research participants.
The CDC continues to closely monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines. If scientists find a connection between a safety issue and a vaccine, the FDA and the vaccine manufacturer will work toward an appropriate solution to address the specific safety concern, for example, a problem with a specific lot, a manufacturing issue, or the vaccine itself. There is still much we do not know about the long-lasting effects of having COVID-19 illness, but we do know the vaccine is working to prevent severe illness, hospitalizations and death.
For more information, contact the Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department at (402) 375-2200.