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State releases ‘playbook’ for COVID vaccinations

Gov. Steve Sisolak on Monday joined experts from the Nevada Department of Health &Human Services to provide an update on Nevada’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program Playbook for Statewide Operations, which was put together by the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health and submitted Oct. 16 to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The playbook is a working document that the Nevada State Immunization Program will use and update as more information becomes available from the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration related to the release of a COVID-19 vaccine.

While a vaccine is not currently approved for use, Nevada DHHS anticipates only receiving a small amount of vaccine when it is distributed and through the plan has developed priorities for immunization.

“The Nevada playbook is a living document, meaning we will adapt and adjust as the overall vaccine response develops and up until a vaccine is deemed safe and effective,” Sisolak said. “I am proud of the DHHS team for working diligently to ensure that, upon approval, Nevada has a system in place for the distribution and administration of a safe vaccine as supply becomes available.”

The CDC will provide feedback on the draft playbook, and Nevada will review and update in order to ensure there is a complete, comprehensive plan when a vaccine becomes available.

“To develop Nevada’s COVID-19 vaccine plan we had to consider a variety of factors to be prepared for the different vaccines when they become available,” said Shannon Bennett, immunization program director. “Some criteria may change, but, from what we know, there will be new challenges related to storing, handling and distributing this vaccine.

“The COVID-19 vaccine distribution will involve challenges such as ultra-cold storage and handling requirements, two doses that are not interchangeable between products, plus safely vaccinating Nevadans during an ongoing pandemic.”

For a copy of Nevada’s Draft COVID-19 Vaccination Program Playbook for Statewide Operations, visit https://nvhealthresponse.nv.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/COVID-19-Vaccination-Program-Nevadas-Playbook-for-Statewide-Operations.pdf

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