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Nebraska National Guard assisting with vaccine plans, prioritization

Nebraska National Guard assisting with vaccine plans, prioritization

12 airmen, five soldiers activated

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Chief Master Sgt. Megan Zuver, the Nebraska Air National Guard human resource adviser, makes a call Wednesday to a city clerk requesting information on the number of employees in certain occupations willing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to them in Phase 1b of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. (Courtesy Nebraska National Guard)

LINCOLN — The Nebraska National Guard activated 17 drill-status Guardsmen this week to assist the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services with vaccine plans and prioritization.

In a news release, the National Guard said it “continues to support whole-of-government humanitarian efforts” in response to the pandemic by providing planning support.

The 12 airmen and five soldiers were requested by DHHS to assist with gathering and analyzing information from local organizations and governments to determine where and when to best distribute doses of COVID-19 vaccines as they continue to arrive in Nebraska in the near future.

“We’ve started contacting city administrators, village clerks and people in the utility sectors to make sure we have accurate numbers of their employees,” Lt. Col. Fred Phelan said in a statement. “Then we will continue that effort with education and transportation sectors.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention prioritizes certain occupations in Phase 1B of the nationwide vaccination plans. Phase 1A, which is underway, covers health care providers, health care support personnel, public safety and emergency services.

The Nebraska National Guard has been actively involved with the COVID-19 response efforts since Gov. Pete Ricketts activated the State Emergency Operations Center, March 13, following a state Emergency Declaration.

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