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Hy-Vee prioritizing educators, people 65 and up for vaccinations

Published: Mar. 6, 2021 at 11:44 AM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Local pharmacies including RelyCare in Lincoln are prioritizing people 65 and older following the health department’s plan. Bigger pharmacies like Hy-Vee are also prioritizing educators across the state.

Hy-Vee public relations director Christina Gayman said, “I will say the demand far exceeds the supply still.”

Hundreds of thousands are still waiting to get their covid vaccine, but there’s a specific group taking advantage of Hy-Vee’s new priority list.

Gayman said, “We have a lot of educators coming in as of Wednesday when the directive came in from the Biden administration.”

President Biden asked all pharmacy partners with the CDC, including Hy-Vee, to start pushing vaccines to educators.

“That books out 5 days in advance so we’re booking 5 days’ worth of appointments in fewer than 4 or 5 hours right now,” Gayman said.

Hy-Vee pharmacies are also prioritizing people 65 and up like RelyCare in Lincoln.

RelyCare pharmacist Dr. Monty Scheele said, “We’re in contact with the local health department daily practically and were following their directives. When they tell us to move down to a different group we do so.”

RelyCare says it’s had 2 to 3 clinics a week with the federal retail program giving over 1,000 vaccines to people.

But, as of Friday, none of them are educators.

“When we get a green light from the health department, we can select that group and perhaps make a separate clinic for them,” Dr. Scheele said.

Both RelyCare and Hy-Vee expect more vaccines in the next several weeks, especially with Johnson & Johnson sending its one-dose shots this week.

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