South Heartland Health District Increasing Vaccinations Slowly, Needs More Heading into Fall

Sept. 22, 2021, 12:10 p.m. ·

A needle goes into an arm injecting vaccine.
Michele Bever says getting 70 percent of people in her health district vaccinated would be ideal. (Photo by Jazari Kual, Flatwater Free Press)

COVID-19 vaccination coverage in the South Heartland Health District in the Hastings area has increased marginally since vaccinations rolled out. Almost 52 percent of residents 12 and older in Adams, Clay, Nuckolls, and Webster counties are fully vaccinated, and about 43% of all people are fully vaccinated.

Michele Bever is the health director for the district and said she hopes more people choose to protect themselves and the community heading into cold and flu season.

“We would hope to have a much higher percentage of folks fully vaccinated, up toward 70% would be great,” she said. “The fewer people that are vaccinated, the more people we have that are at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19.”

South Heartland Health District logged another 231 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases last week.

Bever said summer vaccination progress was slow, but the district saw a jump around back-to-school time. Newly vaccinated people are sparse again, according to Bever.

About 85 percent of people 65 and older are vaccinated in the district, but those percentages sharply decline by age group. Less than 60% of people 55-64 years-old are vaccinated in the four Central Nebraska counties.