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Sisolak says vaccine availability to expand

Updated March 18, 2021 - 11:05 pm

Nev. Gov. Steve Sisolak announced the expansion of age categories for COVID-19 vaccines during a press conference on Wednesday.

Nevadans 16 years of age and older with underlying health conditions will be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine starting on March 22, which will be available through the “Retail Pharmacy Program.” Also, Nevadans in that age category will be eligible to get a vaccine on April 5 and will be able to schedule vaccination appointments statewide starting then.

“This is a critical step forward in our vaccination effort that will allow more Nevadans to schedule appointments and receive their shot. By continuing our strong push to vaccinate high-risk Nevadans, including seniors, individuals with underlying conditions, frontline workers, individuals with disabilities and Nevadans experiencing homelessness, we are working to protect the most vulnerable in our state,” said Gov. Sisolak. “On April 5, all Nevadans aged 16 and above will be eligible for the vaccine and the state will work closely with our local partners to ensure we’re putting as many doses as possible into arms every day. This timeline should remind Nevadans that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but we must continue to remain vigilant until more residents can get vaccinated.”

Local health authorities and counties will vaccinate eligible Nevadans within the frontline/essential workforce lane before April 5, along with holding events for the general population. Those currently eligible are being encouraged to make their appointment as soon as they can.

The Nevada Retail and Restaurant associations urged eligible retail and restaurant and hospitality employees to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment to ensure as many frontline workers are vaccinated before the availability is expanded.

“It is critical that employees in high-contact positions who have prolonged and sustained customer interactions seek out COVID vaccination appointments this week,” said Bryan Wachter, senior vice president of government and public affairs at the Retail Association of Nevada. “With a new group of Nevadans becoming eligible for vaccinations next week and vaccinations being open to all Nevadans over 16 on April 5, this will be the best opportunity for our frontline workers to make sure they’re vaccinated and helping to grow Nevada’s herd immunity.”

Sisolak’s announcement is in line with, and ahead, of President Joe Biden’s challenge that states open availability to all adults by May 1. The state is confident in the new timeline with the expected increase in vaccine production and allocation.

Appointment availability could be limited for the first few weeks following April 5 and will be based on dose allocation from the federal government.

The state will continue to focus on removing barriers to access for the most vulnerable and at the highest risk of severe illness due to COVID-19 as vaccine availability opens up.

Nevadans can check NVCOVIDFighter.org or call the state hotline at 1-800-401-0946 for more information.

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