In spreading its harm, COVID doesn’t stop to check a Nebraskan’s citizenship status. In offering much-needed protection against the virus, the vaccinations now beginning in Nebraska mustn’t either.
Achieving the needed level of herd immunity will be crucial in 2021 if Nebraska is to succeed in ending the virus threat. Nebraska would grievously undercut that effort if the state denied vaccinations to noncitizens, who are as vulnerable to COVID as anyone else. Limiting vaccinations would put all Nebraska communities at risk, given how 2020 demonstrated the virus’s ability to spread to communities large and small.
It’s encouraging that the Ricketts administration has clarified this situation, saying there will be no citizenship checks as vaccinations proceed. That is sound policy for Nebraska as the state works to contain this extraordinary health threat.