COVID-19 vaccine prep taking places across Nebraska

Scientists with Pfizer said they have developed a COVID-19 vaccine that is 90 percent effective.
Scientists with Pfizer said they have developed a COVID-19 vaccine that is 90 percent effective.(KOTA KEVN)
Published: Nov. 12, 2020 at 8:27 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Pfizer and BioNTech say the COVID-19 vaccine they are jointly developing was 90% effective.

That news is mobilizing Nebraska and the nation to prepare for how to get that possible vaccine to the masses.

There will be five distribution sites for a COVID-19 vaccine in Nebraska.

One of the first ones confirmed will be Bryan Health here in Lincoln, who purchased freezers to store the vaccine at -70 degrees Celsius back in August.

“Now been transported to our campuses and being readied for use,” said Bob Ravenscroft with Bryan. “Basically what’s going on now is hooking them up and testing the temperature tracking controls.”

Earlier this year, Governor Ricketts outlined a plan for distributing that vaccine but said Thursday he’s not sure how many doses the state will get at first.

“If we do get those in December those will be prioritized,” said Ricketts. “For our health care workers, our long-term care workers, first responders, then it will go to those who are most at risk.”

Thousands of Nebraskans have also been helping to test COVID-19 vaccines, through clinical trials with Meridian Clinical Research.

The group says right now it’s looking for about 2,000 more patients and that research will likely continue for two to three years.

“If one works there might be one that works better or one that works longer,” said Dr. Brandon Essink a principal investigator. "There might be one that has less side effects, the other thing is the sheer volume of people that need to be vaccinated.

As clinical trials expand the Better Business Bureau warns that scammers are taking advantage.

Using text messages that entice people to click a link that might install malware on computers or phones.

The BBB says real trials do come with payments but can be verified through government websites.

“The legitimate trials go anywhere from $1,000 all the way up to $2,500,” said Tammy Barett with the BBB. “What’s important to remember s none of these surveys or studies will ask you for banking information, credit card information, social security numbers.”

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