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Elderly Nebraska woman dies from COVID-19, despite being vaccinated

DHHS continues to stress that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.
Published: May. 5, 2021 at 11:46 AM CDT|Updated: May. 5, 2021 at 1:14 PM CDT
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KEARNEY, Neb. (KOLN) - An elderly Nebraska woman has died from the coronavirus, despite completing the vaccination process.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, a woman in her 80s with underlying medical conditions developed COVID-19 and was hospitalized more than 14 days after completing a vaccination series with the Pfizer vaccine. She was a resident of the Two Rivers Health District which includes Buffalo, Dawson, Franklin, Gosper, Harlan, Kearney, and Phelps Counties.

Jeremy Eschliman, Health Director for Two Rivers, states, “While we know no vaccine can prevent 100% of illness, this still represents the best protection against the virus, and the vaccination process is still leading our entire state in returning to normal.”

According to DHHS, this is the first death due to COVID-19 after completing a vaccination series in Nebraska.

Of the 2,244 people that have died from COVID-19 in Nebraska, only one of these had been fully-vaccinated. This represents 0.0004 or 0.04% of all COVID-19 deaths.

“Weekly deaths due to COVID-19 appear to be the lowest they’ve been since March 2020 and vaccines have likely played the biggest role in the steep decline. Cases of COVID-19 have declined substantially in long-term care facilities and across the state since vaccinations became available, underscoring the tremendous efficacy of the vaccine. Still, a small number of elderly and immunosuppressed patients may not mount a strong immune response, hence it’s all of our duty and responsibility to get vaccinated to further protect ourselves and the most vulnerable among us.”

Department of Health and Human Services

Vaccine breakthrough cases occur in only a small percentage of vaccinated persons. Among 95 million people in the United States who have been fully-vaccinated, 112 deaths due to COVID-19 have been identified. (https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/health-departments/breakthrough-cases.html). DHHS continues to stress that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.

Nebraska’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Gary Anthone said, “We are saddened to learn of this occurrence. While no deaths occurred in vaccinated individuals in the clinical trials, we understand that no vaccine or medication is 100% effective when used by millions of people. This does not negate the importance of vaccination and all of the positive effects of vaccination. Our state is approaching 50% of the total population being fully vaccinated and we need to keep that momentum. All Nebraskans who can get vaccinated should do so as soon as possible.”

Nebraskans can register for vaccination at Vaccinate.Ne.Gov.

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