Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

By Daria Anderson-Faden
The Observer 


Virus Remains In Community, But Vaccinations Bringing Hope


January 7, 2021

Daria Anderson-Faden

Administrating COVID-19 vaccinations for the 75 years and older population are Jessica Webb, director of emergency preparedness for the Kimball Health Services; Pennie Anderson, community health nurse; and registered nurse Laura Bateman, director of quality and staff development.

COVID-19 vaccinations for those 75 years and older are now underway in Kimball and the surrounding area. Panhandle Public Health reported that as of Jan. 4, "2,108 people in the eligible population have received the COVID vaccine in the Panhandle."

Kimball Health Services Director of Emergency Preparedness Jessica Webb said that they had 40 Moderna doses and they were "going through their patient list and started calling." The drive-thru clinic at the North Campus for the 40 doses was held Thursday. The clinic will continue to call patients for the second clinic where they anticipate receiving fifty doses.

Jessica Webb said, "We are just getting vaccines as the state gives them to us, like yesterday they called us for today, so you never really know when you are going to get them."

According to Webb, once those 75 years and older are done they will continue down the list to the next group of priorities. The hospital has completed the hospital staff and essentials around town.

The next Phase 1B Tier II includes First Responders, Utilities, Homeless Shelter Staff, Correction Staff and Educators. Tier III will focus on Funeral Homes, Grocery, Food and Agriculture, including meat packing and food process plants.

As encouraging news of the vaccine is being received locally, COVID-19 is still in the community and spreading. Kimball County unfortunately added to their COVID-19 related total deaths with a male in his 70s and also on Jan. 4, 18 new cases have been reported since Dec. 28.

Treatment for COVID-19 has made huge strides in the past year, as Jessica Davis from PPHD explained: "There are COVID treatments proven to work, one being monoclonal antibody treatment (Bamlanivimab or bam). This is available at long-term care facilities and for the general population. It has been shown to have a 70% reduction in hospitalization and improved symptoms. 

"The infusion takes about three hours, and patients will be charged an outpatient administration fee but not charged for the medication. Improvements can be seen anywhere from one to three days after treatment. However, this does not shorten the length of time needed to stay isolated."

Kimball Health Services released information that "based on evidence from clinical trials, the Moderna vaccine was 94.1% effective at preventing laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 illness in people who received two doses and had no evidence of being previously infected.


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