By Associated Press - Sunday, March 7, 2021

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Roughly 5,000 teachers from the Omaha area received their coronavirus vaccine shots this weekend.

The Douglas County Health Department held two large vaccination clinics Saturday at Millard North and Omaha North high schools to distribute doses of the new Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine to educators.

“Teachers across the metro have worked hard over the past year to make learning meaningful throughout this pandemic, and now we are excited to receive our vaccine,” said Paul Schulte, a kindergarten teacher in the Millard school district.

Tim Royers, president of the Millard Education Association, praised the mass vaccination effort.

“A lot of advocacy, both public and behind the scenes, really needed to happen to kind of get to the point where we are now where we’re seeing not just some educators being vaccinated, but a large number being vaccinated,” Royers said.

Royers said he’s optimistic all educators in Douglas County could be vaccinated soon.

“If next week’s vaccine allocation holds up, it’s highly likely we’ll be done next weekend,” he said.

The Omaha area vaccinations were part of 13,674 coronavirus shots administered statewide on Saturday. Officials said 12% of the state’s population has now been vaccinated against the virus.

Nebraska reported 716 new cases and one additional death linked to the virus between Friday and Sunday. There have now been a total of 203,026 cases and 2,113 deaths since the pandemic began.

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