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Nebraska DHHS slow to report COVID-19 data for ages 12-15

Nebraska DHHS slow to report age 12-15 COVID data - 10PM
Nebraska DHHS slow to report age 12-15 COVID data - 10PM
Updated: May. 21, 2021 at 10:16 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A week after youth COVID-19 vaccinations were first offered in the Omaha-metro area, Nebraska’s data dashboard is still not reflecting exactly how many in the most recently eligible age group have received these Pfizer doses.

Despite weeks of planning for emergency-use authorization, state health officials continue to lag behind in reporting 12-15-year-old COVID-19 data.

6 News and other media partners rely on crucial information reported daily to keep the public informed and updated on progress being made during the COVID-19 pandemic. But some crucial information is just not there — information showing where the state stands with overall vaccinations.

The Nebraska DHHS COVID-19 dashboard does have data for most age groups in Nebraska who are considered fully vaccinated: ages 85+, ages 75-84, 65-74, and so on down to 16-year-olds.

But still missing is data about the recently added 12-15 age group.

“You have to remember when children get the vaccine, we’re not just protecting the children, but we’re also protecting parents and the community as well,” said Dr. John Torres, medical correspondent for NBC News.

Like other national medical experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, Torres said specifically recording vaccine numbers for ages 12-15 could offer a larger picture about whether children can help bridge the gap between where America stands now and successfully vaccinating up to 85% of the country.

“The Pfizer vaccine is now authorized for those 12 and above, which hopefully they end up getting, which means millions more people are eligible, and hopefully it gets us closer to herd immunity,” Torres said.

With such a focus on pinpointing that group, 6 News asked DHHS directly why — after the younger age group has been eligible for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination more than a week — the state’s data portal still doesn’t show how many children ages 12-15 have had at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

After multiple requests for that information, DHHS did respond:

Douglas county, Nebraska’s largest, most dense and most urban county, however, is providing how many children in that group have been vaccinated.

In fact, the County as a whole is just a few percentages shy of the national vaccine average., which stands at 60%.

Douglas County, like many of their neighbors, work closely with community partners to share up to date information about who can get the vaccine and where.

But as that effort continues, 6 News also uncovered some outdated vaccine information on the ne.dhhs.org that could confuse Nebraskans.

One particular statement; points people 18-64 with high risk medical conditions to register for the vaccine so they may be prioritized,

That’s outdated.

Douglas County health officials, like many others, are now welcoming walk -ins and trying to reduce any barrier that slows down the process of getting Nebraskans inoculated.

After further digging, 6-News was able to confirm that the 12-15 vaccine information will be available on the DHHS website specifically, next week.

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