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Moderna vaccine arrives in Nevada, Tier 2 population moves closer to inoculations

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Posted at 10:39 PM, Dec 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-22 08:11:28-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The second vaccine approved for emergency use by federal authorities arrived in Nevada Monday and now the Tier 1 population is moving closer to receiving the first complete round of immunizations against COVID-19.

Gov. Steve Sisolak tweeted about the arrival of the Moderna vaccine on Monday, adding people should continue to guard against the virus by wearing a mask, social distance and good hand hygiene.

The work continues to vaccinate the Tier 1 population consisting of healthcare workers, front line first responders, as well as staff and residents inside nursing homes and long term care facilities.

"Because I am a healthcare provider, I do see patients in the clinic, " said Dr. Marc J. Kahn with the UNLV School of Medicine. "I was vaccinated last week."

13 Investigates reported Friday that the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department expects their employees will have access to the vaccine sometime in Jan. 2021.

RELATED: Moderna vaccine gets approval, Nevada first responders wait for immunizations

Dr. Kahn says there is no major difference between the Pfizer for Moderna vaccine from a medical perspective.

The Moderna vaccine does not have to be kept as cold as the Pfizer one, which will be a benefit for rural parts of Nevada that do not have immediate access to limited, super cold, freezers.

The Pfizer vaccine must be kept well below freezing in order to remain effective.

Dr. Kahn says the priority remains to immunize the Tier 1 population before moving on to Tier 2.

"I think when it's their turn to get a vaccine, they should get either vaccine depending on availability," said Dr. Kahn.

REVIEW: Nevada vaccine playbook as of Dec. 21, 2020

According to Nevada health officials, the Tier 2 population will include, among other categories, teachers, childcare providers, essential retail workers, utility workers, and prison inmates.

"Eventually, it'll be rolled out to everybody," said Dr. Kahn.

"Again, my advice is when it's your turn to get the vaccine, do not hesitate to get vaccinated," he said.

Over the weekend, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised people with a history of severe allergic reactions from previous immunizations that required hospitalization to avoid the COVID-19 vaccines for the moment.

The Tier 3 population is expected to begin in the early part of 2021 which will include people with underlying health conditions that may put them at risk of developing severe illness from COVID-19 and includes the remaining population older than 65.

Those remaining are in Tier 4, which the state describes as "healthy adults 18 to 64" and may begin having access to COVID-19 vaccines around spring to early summer 2021, authorities estimate.