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Nebraska pharmacies to receive COVID vaccines directly from federal government

Published: Feb. 4, 2021 at 6:44 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The federal government is starting a new vaccine program where vaccines could be administered at local pharmacies. The Federal Retail Pharmacy Program will ship COVID-19 vaccines directly from the federal government to local pharmacies.

State officials said this will lead to a great partnership and help increase vaccine allocation to the state.

Even though this program hasn’t started in Nebraska, the number of vaccines the state receives weekly continues to rise. State officials said there’s now a 21% increase from last week.

Nebraska DHHS CEO Dannette Smith said, “We are moving as fast as possible as we can. as we get it from the federal government, we’re getting it out to our partners.”

This week, the state will get over 55,000 vaccines compared to just over 46,000 last week.

Nebraska Pharmacists Association CEO Marcia Mueting said this new vaccine program will eventually lead to more vaccines coming to Nebraska weekly.

“The pharmacies will be able to immunize quicker instead of having it go to the state distribution hub and then to pharmacies,” Mueting said.

According to the CDC, pharmacies involved with this program include Walmart, Good Neighbor Pharmacy and Cardinal Health.

Walmart said on its website as soon as it receives vaccines from the federal government, it’ll vaccinate people in 38 states including Nebraska.

Mueting said, “Ultimately this program will expand to include over 40,000 pharmacies across the country.”

Mueting said pharmacists are more than qualified to administer these vaccines and they know the patient population they’ll vaccinate.

“The pharmacies across Nebraska have been standing at the ready waiting for their cue to jump in and become a part of the solution,” Mueting said.

Nebraska DHHS said this program will start in the state once it receives more info on allocations.

The Nebraska Pharmacists Association is confident this program will continue increasing vaccine allocation in the state once implemented. The program is set to start next week in other states but it’s still unclear when it’ll start here in Nebraska.

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