Lincoln, NE (December 14, 2020) Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird and City-County Health Director Pat Lopez today said the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine in Lincoln is a historic accomplishment by the scientific community that will prevent illness and save lives. Due to the limited supply of vaccine, health officials are using a phased approach, and Phase 1A began today with the first phase of vaccinations going to health care personnel providing care and treatment to COVID-19 patients. Phase 1A also includes emergency medical technicians, and staff and residents of long-term care facilities.
“This is a dose of hope for our community,” said Mayor Gaylor Baird. “Thank you to all those who have made this long-awaited day possible. We encourage everyone to be immunized as soon as the vaccine becomes available to them. ”
“We’ve worked closely with our Community COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee and several other partners so we can rapidly administer COVID-19 vaccine,” said Lopez. “The vaccine is not yet available to the general public, and vaccinating Lancaster County’s entire population will take some time. We all must continue to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our community by wearing masks, watching our distance, washing our hands, and avoiding crowded places, close contact and confined spaces.”
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave final approval Friday to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, and the first shipments began Sunday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention accepted the recommendation from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to use the Pfizer vaccine in people 16 and older. The FDA advisory panel meets this week on a second COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna.
While vaccine development and approval occurred at an accelerated pace, Lopez said no short cuts were taken in the evaluation of safety and effectiveness. The rapid development of the vaccine was made possible by advancements in science, significant investment by the federal government in vaccine development, and the very large clinical trials.
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