Local health department’s race toward herd immunity

Published: Apr. 29, 2021 at 8:21 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - With COVID-19 case counts still not letting up, the race to reach herd immunity is still on.

“We still have a ways to go before we get the case level really comfortable,” said Central District health Department Director Teresa Anderson.

CDHD Director Teresa Anderson said transmission rates are still going steady but the good thing is hospitalizations are down.

“Over the course of the last year the medical community has figured out how best to treat it from getting so sick,” Anderson said. ‘The other big factor is within our senior population. We have a fairly high rate of vaccination which keeps them from getting as sick.”

So far about 25% of the Central District is now vaccinated but in order to lower cases, the department is focusing on getting more shots into people’s arms.

“I think as time goes by those folks who’ve had their second doses, they’re not needing them anymore, so now we’re down to those individuals who either didn’t know that we had shots for them or they don’t care to take the shot,” Anderson said.

Amy Mcphillamy received her second shot on Thursday and she didn’t have any hesitation before getting vaccinated.

“There’s people that can’t get it because of medical reasons or whatever and I want to do my part to keep them safe too,” Mcphillamy said.

The department said everyone has a choice on whether they get the vaccine but they want to make sure their decision is based on fact and not fiction. Anderson said there is so much misinformation out there already.

“Our goal is to provide factual information that’s based in the science and that’s been proven to work,” Anderson said.

The department is also working on creative ways to get more people vaccinated.

“I think we’re going to have to get a little more creative now in how we present it and where we present the opportunity to get shots,” Anderson said.

They’re thinking about administering shots at basketball games or just other events to help this effort.

The health department is holding clinics at the Community Fieldhouse at Fonner Park from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every Thursday. They also accept walk-ins at the department without an appointment on weekdays.

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