102-year-old woman gets COVID vaccine as Phase 1B begins in Seward County

Published: Jan. 28, 2021 at 7:00 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Phase 1B for COVID vaccines won’t start for at least another week in Lincoln, but in neighboring counties, they’re already in full swing.

On Thursday, people 65 and older in Seward were able to get their first dose of the Moderna vaccine.

Health officials with Memorial Health Care Systems said their weekly allotment is 180 vaccines. Some of the patients, including 102-year-old Gretchen Christjaener, said this is one of the more exciting days during the pandemic.

“We don’t have to worry so much about how it’s going to affect me,” Christjaener said.

She said she still lives on her own and helps out at the local hospital doing volunteer work.

This also isn’t Christjaener’s first health crisis as she went through the polio outbreak during the 1950′s.

When told Christjaener was the oldest person to get the vaccine Thursday, she said, “Oh, I wouldn’t doubt that.”

She like many others at the Seward Fairgrounds Thursday see this as a sign of hope during the pandemic.

Many say to this point, they haven’t done much since early March.

97-year-old Ralph Hansen said, “It’s kind of discouraging that you can’t go anyplace like all the meetings and clubs ya know they just don’t meet anymore.”

Hansen said after getting his first dose of the Moderna vaccine, he feels more confident moving forward.

“That way you can get out and associate with people,” Hansen said.

For some getting the vaccine, it’s the sheer excitement of it.

“Oh, this is wonderful,” 93-year-old Charlotte Jans said. “I’m getting my covid shot that I have been waiting to get.”

Jans said she also plans to share the exciting news with her family and friends.

“I will call my daughter because she doesn’t know that I am getting a shot today,” Jans said. “I will call her and tell her that she can come and see me now because I’ve had my shot.”

Patients who received the vaccine today will get their second dose near the end of February. Health experts expect Phase 1B to take 3 to 4 months to fully complete.

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