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State starts preparing for COVID-19 vaccine

Gov. Steve Sisolak signed an emergency regulation to support widespread immunization efforts to help Nevada prepare for a potential COVID-19 vaccine.

The regulation, approved and requested by the Nevada State Board of Pharmacy, authorizes pharmaceutical technicians with appropriate training to administer immunizations under the direct supervision of a pharmacist.

This emergency regulation will allow pharmacies to meet the increased demand for vaccine services and increase the state’s capacity to expediently treat Nevada’s population when a viable COVID-19 vaccine is developed and deployed.

“This emergency regulation is one common-sense strategy to help prepare Nevada to ensure that a COVID-19 vaccine can be deployed as quickly and efficiently as possible when it becomes available,” Sisolak said.

The Retail Association of Nevada announced Monday their support of the regulation.

“We applaud the initiative and forward thinking of this emergency regulation that will keep our pharmacy technicians safe while providing critical and convenient locations for vaccines to be administered,” said Liz MacMenamin, RAN’s vice president of government affairs. “It is a top priority for Nevada’s pharmacies to be ready and able to move quickly as soon as a vaccine becomes available.”

The Retail Association and its pharmacy members actively participated with the state Board of Pharmacy to draft the proposed regulation adopted by Sisolak.

In late August, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent a letter to governors across the United State advising them to begin preparing for eventual distribution of COVID-19 vaccines by Nov. 1.

In addition to this regulation, the state — including the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Public Safety and the Nevada National Guard — already has a strategy and conception of operations in place.

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