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Longer lines greet some vaccine seekers as Douglas County transitions to fully electronic registry
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Longer lines greet some vaccine seekers as Douglas County transitions to fully electronic registry

Governor Pete Ricketts wants to see data from the Biden administration on vaccine distribution to Nebraska.

Longer lines and confusion faced some Douglas County residents getting COVID-19 vaccines Saturday, as the switch to a fully electronic registry did not go as smoothly as hoped.

vaccineline

The line to get into the Creighton University’s Rasmussen Center vaccine clinic about 2 p.m. Saturday.

The line at one clinic, Creighton University’s Rasmussen Center in downtown Omaha, at times stretched a couple of blocks.

Creighton spokeswoman Cindy Workman called Saturday’s check-in wait unusual compared with previous clinic days.

Part of the problem stemmed, she said, from some people not properly filling out information online prior to their visit. About a week ago, the county changed its method, converting more fully to digital registration. Some vaccine seekers hadn’t heeded instructions provided by email, she said, and that meant extra time at the front end as volunteers helped people input information into computers.

“People aren’t filling out that patient profile online” Workman said. “That’s so important.”

Compounding some waits, said Phil Rooney, spokesman for the Douglas County Health Department, are greater numbers of people getting the vaccine, either a first or second dose.

“There’s just a whole lot of people,” he said.

Workman said some are also arriving hours early for their appointments. She said they needn’t worry, as everyone with an appointment will get a vaccine.

Rooney advised people to carefully read email instructions before their clinic visit.

Previously, Workman said, people came to the Rasmussen clinic with physical paperwork in hand. Those unable to download forms filled out paperwork at the clinic site. County workers would later input data into the digital system.

The full conversion to an electronic system is aimed at improving efficiency and eliminating a data input backlog.

Rooney said Douglas County residents who need technology assistance should call the Health Department information line at 402-444-3400.

The Rasmussen clinic, a partnership with the county, still handled some 5,000 people Saturday.

By 4 p.m., the line had “shortened a lot,” Workman said.

She said visitors were grateful and pleasant to volunteers. One man brought his saxophone and gave a 15-minute concert as he was in the observation area.

“We could all hear it,” Workman said, “and I could hear people in the waiting area clapping.”


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Cindy covers housing, commercial real estate development and more for The World-Herald. Follow her on Twitter @cgonzalez_owh. Phone: 402-444-1224.

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