Sarpy County Local News

Omaha embraces new vaccination wave ahead of flu season

Omaha, Nebraska – As the seasonal transition begins, Omaha isn’t just welcoming the autumn leaves and cooler temperatures. It’s ushering in a new phase of health consciousness, focusing on keeping its residents safe and sound from the flu, COVID-19, and other diseases.

Companies throughout the Omaha metro area are organizing flu shot events, advocating for the health and well-being of their employees. As the timeless adage goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and Omaha seems to be heeding this message more than ever.

One of the frontline figures in this proactive health movement is Cortney Donaldson, a proficient pharmacist at HyVee. Donaldson enlightened the public about the latest advancements in the world of vaccines.

“In probably the last three weeks, there’s been another vaccine, the RSV shot, that’s important for anybody 65 and older,” Donaldson mentioned, emphasizing the necessity of staying updated with the newest vaccine recommendations. “We have already seen a good amount of people getting that. There’s still the pneumonia shot. A new one came out called Prevnar 20 which is kind of the one we all should get. There were two before that, so I would check with my doctor or pharmacist before I get any of them to make sure I’m getting the correct one.”

The Evolving Landscape of Vaccinations

For those feeling overwhelmed by the array of vaccines available and the prospect of multiple visits to healthcare providers, there’s reassuring news. Health officials have confirmed that individuals can receive the flu, COVID, and RSV vaccines simultaneously, reducing the need for multiple trips.

Molly Elston, who holds the pivotal role of clinical operations supervisor for the Douglas County Health Department, underscored the paramount importance of COVID and flu vaccinations in the community. “Although the COVID strains that are currently out there in the community are perhaps less virulent in terms of symptoms, causing maybe a little less death and hospitalization than the original strain, they still do cause a good number of hospitalizations and death that can be prevented by vaccination,” Elston observed.

She further emphasized that, “vaccinations are one of the best tools we have really to help keep folks out of the hospital and keep folks healthy.” A testament to this statement is the weekly average of 220 people in the county testing positive for COVID, a number that might be understated due to the rise in home-testing capabilities.

But as the metro area of Omaha continues to integrate the COVID vaccine into its public health strategy, there’s an encouraging update for the residents: “Insurance should cover the COVID-19 vaccine and for those for whom it does not cover the COVID vaccine, there are options where you can still get the COVID vaccine for free. So everyone should have a free option for COVID.”

For those seeking the latest on available COVID vaccination centers, visit like

Wrapping up the week, a spokesperson from the Douglas County Health Department shared a brief yet crucial update, stating that the past seven days saw a report of 153 new COVID-19 cases. To date, the county has officially recognized 185,393 cases.

As Omaha readies itself for the approaching winter and its associated health challenges, its proactive stance on vaccinations hopes to keep its community secure, and its spirits high.

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