Grocery workers get vaccinated in Phase 1B, 2A starts this week

Published: Mar. 23, 2021 at 10:24 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Lancaster county is starting Phase 2A of vaccinations putting more emphasis on people ages 50 through 64.

Health officials said, to this point, over 98,000 people have had at least one dose in Lancaster County; about 40% of the eligible population.

Essential workers who were recently vaccinated include grocery store workers.

Open Harvest Co-Op in south Lincoln has had health and safety guidelines in its store even before the city mandated it.

General manager of the store, Amy Tabor, said, “We’re still doing the same thing we’ve been doing the last 12 months with our social distancing and our precautions.”

What was a long year now has a different mood after grocery workers were able to get the vaccine this past week.

“I was very emotional when I walked into Pinnacle Bank Arena just because of how challenging the whole year has been,” Tabor said.

Lincoln-Lancaster County Health director Pat Lopez said grocery store workers were a part of the 22,000 people in the county vaccinated last week.

She’s encouraging everyone to get vaccinated as soon as it’s available to them.

“Having more people vaccinated puts us in a better position to prevent new variants from emerging in our community,” Lopez said.

This emphasis now falls on people ages 50 through 64 as Phase 2A begins. 20% of Lancaster County’s eligible population has finished vaccinations, but the health director stresses safety measures to protect the other 80%.

Lopez said, “As more and more of our residents are vaccinated, I want to stress the importance of continuing protecting yourself and others even after you’re fully vaccinated.”

Even after Open Harvest workers are fully vaccinated, the store won’t change any protocols to protect those who aren’t vaccinated.

The city will have a first-dose clinic this Thursday for people 59 and older. A second-dose clinic is planned for Friday for those 70 and older along with educators.

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