Hundreds of Nebraska Healthcare Workers Get First COVID-19 Vaccine Doses

Dec. 14, 2020, 4:53 p.m. ·

Respiratory Therapist Julie Bornemeier was one of the first frontline workers to get the vaccine. (Courtesy: Bryan Health)

Hundreds of healthcare workers across Nebraska received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine Monday.

CUMC Bergan Mercy Hospital in Omaha received almost 4,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine Monday morning and began administering it by afternoon.

Vice president of Pharmacy Mike Tiesi says this is a historic day in Nebraska.

"Time will tell, but I put this us as one of the most significant events in medication and vaccine history for us, because it's a game-changer."

Bryan Health in Lincoln received nearly a thousand doses of Pfizer's vaccine this morning, and had vaccinated more than 400 people by 3 p.m.

Respiratory Therapist Julie Bornemeier was one of the first frontline workers to get the vaccine. She encourages all Nebraskans to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

"Because I've seen so many people needlessly die," Bornemeier said. "So anything to stop that from happening I would definitely encourage."

Bornemeier says the week before Thanksgiving was one of the hardest.

"We had a week there where it seemed like every day you came to work they added one more COVID unit," she said. "And that was frightening, wondering if you would have enough equipment, enough staff, enough time to get to the patients when they needed you to be there with them. That was terrifying."

Active COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state have been declining over the past two weeks, with 692 in the hospital as of Sunday night.

Bryan Health CEO John Woodrich says eligible healthcare workers are eager to get vaccinated and all available slots were filled today.

"So they're getting in line immediately and hopefully setting the example for others that this is a safe vaccine to get," Woodrich said. "And we just look forward to continuing to vaccinate more employees and providers."

Bryan Health expects another shipment of Pfizer's vaccine Tuesday morning.

CHI hospitals in Lincoln and Grand Island are expecting their shipments in the next day.

In Scottsbluff at Regional West Hospital, there is no specific date for the arrival of the vaccine.

In Blair, the vaccine isn't expected to arrive for another week and in Fremont, vaccine shipments won't arrive until sometime Tuesday morning.

A vaccine won't be available to the general public for at least a couple of months.