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Vaccines arrive in Nevada, Nye County

Updated December 22, 2020 - 7:28 pm

Frontline health care workers and staff and residents in long-term care facilities were among the first recipients of the new COVID-19 vaccine.

Desert View Hospital has received an allocation of the Pfizer vaccine and began to administer the vaccine to frontline health care workers on Thursday, Dec. 18. The hospital said it has established a vaccination clinic per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Delivery of vaccine doses to Nevada, Nye County

The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services learned Thursday, Dec. 18 that the state’s second allocation of the COVID-19 vaccine will include 42% fewer doses than previously anticipated.

The second allocation of Pfizer’s vaccine is now expected to be 17,550 doses and is slated to go directly to the state’s pharmacy partners, CVS and Walgreens, to vaccinate staff and residents of skilled nursing and long-term facilities. Originally, the state anticipated receiving 30,255 doses.

“States need clear and precise updates and information from the federal government as we continue the large and complex process of distributing this critical COVID-19 vaccine across the nation and here in Nevada,” Gov. Steve Sisolak said in a Dec. 18 press release. “To slash allocations for states, without any explanation whatsoever, is disruptive and baffling.”

Nevada received 25,350 doses of Pfizer vaccine this week, and vaccinations of hospital staff have been taking place. Of those doses, 17,550 were available for the state to distribute to counties for acute care hospitals, and 7,800 were set aside for staff and residents of long-term care facilities who will be vaccinated by the pharmacies.

Each county and local health authority has developed a distribution plan for the COVID-19 vaccine and will implement the process individually, while following the Nevada COVID-19 Vaccine Playbook.

“The state’s vaccination team has done tremendous work in the last eight months to plan and prepare for this historic distribution process,” Sisolak said. “I am proud of their ongoing work to ensure the first distribution of the allocation has gone smoothly so hospitals can begin vaccinating their frontline health care workers.”

But the unexpected drop in doses for the second batch remains a concern.

“I look forward to a swift and thorough explanation from the federal government regarding this change in allocation,” Sisolak said. “States across the country, not just Nevada, deserve a transparent and communicative partner in this effort.”

All counties in Nevada except Esmeralda, Eureka and Storey were slated to receive some doses of the vaccine ticketed for hospitals in the first allocation. Clark County received the most, with 12,260 of the 17,550 doses, with 3,655 going to Washoe, 405 to Carson City, 245 to Elko County and 225 to Humboldt County. Other doses headed for White Pine (160), Lander (45), Lincoln (45), Churchill (40), Lyon (40), Mineral (35), Pershing (15), Douglas (10) and Nye (10).

Earlier in December, the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, made up of representatives from California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, confirmed the federal review of the vaccine stating that it is safe and efficacious.

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