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COVID-19 vaccine available for everyone regardless of immigration status

Posted at 3:43 PM, Mar 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-22 18:43:33-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Last week, the State of Nevada announced that all Nevadans aged 16 and older will qualify to get the COVID-19 vaccine on April 5. Those in the same age group with pre-existing conditions will qualify starting today, March 22.

As more and more Nevadans become eligible to receive the vaccine, the Governor’s Office for New Americans (ONA) is reminding the Nevada immigrant and refugee population, especially the undocumented community, that the COVID-19 vaccine is free for all regardless of immigration status and Nevada will not share any personal identifiable information with federal agencies.

COVID-19 Vaccines and What You Need To Know

Last month, Gov. Steve Sisolak called for a more equitable and fair vaccine rollout to address the challenge of vaccine equity in the region. Equitable access to the vaccine is top priority for Nevada and this includes ensuring our immigrant and refugee community feels safe when receiving the vaccine.

It is important to note that the federal Department of Homeland Security issued a statement indicating they will not be making arrests at vaccination sites in order to support equal access to the COVID-19 vaccine and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will not conduct enforcement operations at or near vaccine distribution sites or clinics.

“We want to assure our immigrant and refugee community that no one has to pay for the vaccine. The vaccine is free for all Nevadans, no matter their immigration status, and that they are not required to have health insurance in order to receive it,” said Charina de Asis, director of the Office for New Americans. “This virus does not care whether one is documented or undocumented. And in a public health emergency, neither should we.”

As part of the State’s vaccination process, all Nevadans need to present a form of identification when receiving a vaccine. We want to remind the immigrant and refugee community that the information that is collected from the identification documents will be entered in Nevada WebIZ, the state’s immunization information system. However, the state has strict privacy laws in place and cannot share this information to the federal government.

Identification documents that are accepted include, but not limited to: a state identification, driver’s licenses and driver’s authorization cards, passports, consular identification, or any document issued by a foreign government that is substantially similar to a consular identification card. The identification is required to ensure that the person who made the appointment is the one who is receiving the vaccine, and that it this is accurately recorded in Nevada WebIZ. Additionally, a proof of employment may be required if one is eligible to be vaccinated based on their occupation. If you have any questions regarding the identification requirement, please contact your local health officials.

The Governor’s Office for New Americans will continue to work with the state’s vaccination team to ensure that any barriers that immigrants and refugees have in getting the vaccine will be addressed and solved.

More information on Nevada’s COVID-19 response can be found at NVHealthResponse.nv.gov. For information on making an appointment go to NVCOVIDFighter.org or call the hotline at 800-401-0946.