Panhandle Public Health District (PPHD) officials say vaccine availability is about to expand in the region.
Monday, officials said the Pfizer vaccine has arrived in the Panhandle. They will begin offering the vaccine to everyone 12 and up beginning Tuesday, May 18. Pfizer is the only of the three vaccines available in the U.S. to receive emergency authorization from the FDA for use in kids as young as 12.
The Moderna and Johnson and Johnson shots are also available, but only to those 18 and older.
If you have not received the COVID-19 vaccine and would like to, you can sign up at pphd.org.
According to the Nebraska Department of Heath and Human Services, just under 35 percent of everyone 16 and older are fully vaccinated in the Panhandle. Statewide, 52 percent of the same age group is fully inoculated.
Health officials confirmed two more COVID-19 related deaths in the region. They say two women from Box Butte County, one in her 60s and one in her 70s, have passed away. The total number of virus related deaths in the Panhandle is now 196.
PPHD says 24 people tested positive for the virus over the past week. Sheridan County had the most with nine cases. No other county reported more than three cases last week. Banner, Garden and Sioux counties each had zero cases in the past seven days.
The region's risk did not move from its position last week.