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Delayed vaccine shipments arrive; Nevadans 65 and older are now eligible

Cashman Center near downtown Las Vegas is one of the locations which is helping to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to eligible groups.
Posted at 6:14 PM, Feb 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-23 00:51:56-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Nevada health officials said Monday they will be working overtime this week to make sure the delayed shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine get into arms. Delayed COVID-19 vaccine shipments forced some 4,000 Southern Nevadans to reschedule their second shot.

"They were able to take the existing vaccination events and then reschedule them," said Candice McDaniel of the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services.

Governor Sisolak tweeted Monday the state was prepared to send private planes to retrieve vaccine doses. That wasn't necessary as shipments began arriving Monday morning.

So far, at least 556,556 doses have been administered as the state expands eligibility to include people 65 years and older. Demand appears to be high as the City of Las Vegas reports two immunization clinics for 65 plus and utility workers this week are fully booked.

But while demand may be high, Caleb Cage said Nevada isn't receiving enough doses a week to be able to open a mass vaccination site like what we've seen in other states.

"The allocation to the state is still spread too thin to sustain something at a very high level for a long period of time," Cage said.

Cage said the state continues to see an increase in allotment from the federal government on a week-to-week basis. He says the state is still pressing federal officials for answers on why Nevada ranks low among state allocations. Cage says the allocation formula is based on census data from 2018. In 2020, Nevada saw the third-fastest population growth in the country.

The Southern Nevada Health District announced it would open up first dose appointments at Cashman Center this week after the arrival of the delayed shipments and this week's allotment. For those Nevadans currently eligible for vaccinations, check online for appointments and vaccination clinics on the Southern Nevada Health District's website and at ImmunizeNevada.org.