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Officials encouraging Nebraska high-schoolers to vaccinate against COVID-19

Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 9:58 AM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Local and state government and health department officials were at the Douglas County Health Department on Monday to encourage high school students to vaccinate against COVID-19 as they graduate.

“Now for the folks who are concerned about the vaccine want to do research, I encourage go out and talk to your health care providers. Your doctors get the information. Look, we know the vaccine works, we know the vaccine is safe. It’s been given to millions of people in this country alone,” said Gov. Ricketts.

Ricketts was joined by Omaha Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Logan; Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services CEO Dannette Smith; Dr. Sharon Stoolman, a pediatric specialist at Children’s Hospital and Medical Center; and DCHD Director Dr. Adi Pour.

“As we prepare to celebrate the class of 2021, we had our first graduation last week and they concluded their school work last week. This is the perfect window to get a first dose of the vaccine before commencement,” said Dr. Logan.

“We’re having vaccine sites at children’s clinics so that you can make an appointment and talk to a pediatrician or your pediatrician about how this vaccine may impact what the right timing is,” said Dr. Stoolman.

The governor said he opposed making the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory under any circumstances at this time. But if parents are comfortable with getting their children vaccinated, he encouraged them to do so especially ahead of any summer activities.

“Certainly right now, when it’s an emergency, use authorization that we just cannot make this a mandatory program. That’s why we’re encouraging people to talk to their health care providers, talk to your doctors about your situation. Vaccines work, we want people to get the vaccine but I oppose making it mandatory in any circumstances,” said Ricketts.

State health department officials say they want to see young people across the state take the opportunity to get the vaccine.

Watch Monday’s news conference

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