BCBSNE’s chief medical officer stresses importance of continued vaccination

Nebraska recently surpassed an important benchmark in the fight against COVID-19: More than 50% of the state’s population 16 and older is now fully vaccinated, according to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) dashboard.

An additional 8% of Nebraskans 16 and older are partially vaccinated, having received one of two doses required for either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

“While these numbers are exciting, we must continue to encourage vaccination to protect as many people as possible,” Dr. Debra Esser, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska’s (BCBSNE) chief medical officer, said. “More contagious variants of COVID-19 have emerged. If you’re eligible for the vaccine, now is the time to take action to protect your health and those around you.”

Esser encourages those who are hesitant to receive the vaccine to research their concerns using reliable sources, such as local health care providers and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) regulatory process is extensive for all vaccines, including those approved for emergency use, like the COVID-19 vaccine,” Esser said. “We must trust in the science while continuing to follow preventive measures to slow the spread.”

The FDA recently expanded the emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s vaccine to children as young as 12, according to a press release. It is not yet known if booster doses will be needed for already-vaccinated people.

To sign up for COVID-19 vaccination, visit your local health department’s website. Many pharmacies are distributing shots as well. View the CDC’s vaccine finder at Vaccines.Gov for assistance locating available doses by zip code.

For the latest information on BCBSNE’s COVID-19 policies and procedures, view this article.

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