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Tri-City health departments work to vaccinate communities

Published: May. 5, 2021 at 10:07 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - President Joe Biden has set a goal for the country to have 70% of the population vaccinated by the Fourth of July. Tri-City health departments are working hard to reach that goal in central Nebraska.

The most recent data shows Two Rivers Public Health Department has 42% of their eligible residents vaccinated. South Heartland District has 38% and Central District Health Department has roughly 24% of their population now fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

“Our goal was always to get 70% of the population vaccinated so we are up for it,” CDHD Director Teresa Anderson told Local4 News. “I think we can do it as long as we have good community participation.”

Anderson said the original hype around the vaccine has died down a little bit, but people are still interested in getting vaccinated. Right now it’s all about making it more convenient for that to happen.

“What we found early on was that there was a big push and people were very eager to get their shots,” Anderson said. “Now as the vaccine is around a little bit longer, I think people are thinking there’s no hurry and I’ll get mine when the time is right or it’s not terribly convenient for me to get my shot right now. So what we’re doing is trying to find ways to make it more convenient.”

Two Rivers Public Health Department said they’re also working to accommodate people who want to be vaccinated.

“One of the things we’ve run into lately is we’ve gotten a large chunk of people who have a lot of availability during the day, so we’ve got them taken care of,” TRPHD Healthcare Coalition Coordinator Chris Fankhauser said. “Now we are utilizing our mobile vaccine trailer to be able to have clinics at times when most working people would be available.”

Fankhouser said she knows the pandemic has been a long road, but as more people get vaccinated the closer to the end we get.

“I really think that we are getting on the right side of this and hopefully we’re going to start seeing that silver lining coming through,” she said.

To set up an appointment, you can call you local health departments directly or make an appointment online.

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