UPDATE 10 P.M.: Nevada leaders are preparing to launch the vaccination effort in the first round of COVID-19 vaccines which are anticipated to arrive by the end of December.
The vaccine will be distributed after the federal review and approval process is complete, which includes vetting through advisory committees with the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"This is going to be a game-changer in terms of getting life back to normal," said Dr. Michael Levin who is heading up the COVID-19 vaccine trials in Southern Nevada.
"It's one of the things that I wake up every morning saying I'm going to work on a solution and that's the feeling of the patients who have participated in the study," added Levin.
Healthcare workers like Tiffany Robledo will be among the first to get the vaccine.
"I'm excited to get the vaccine, I work with patients who are high risk, who are vulnerable, who have pre-existing conditions and I feel like being a healthcare worker, that will be a big step to stopping the spread," Robledo said.
She says she moved out of her family's home in an effort to prevent spreading the virus to them.
For months, she was part of the drive-up testing effort at UNLV.
In September, she contracted COVID-19.
"There were times that I didn't think I was going to make it either, I had the worst shortness of breath, I could barely breath, especially at night," said Robledo.
"I had the worst cough, and the cough would cause my shortness of breath," added Robledo.
Now, she is recovered and back to work as a medical assistant at the UNLV School of Medicine.
The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services received official notice from the Department of Defense and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the state’s December COVID-19 vaccine allocation.
The state is set to receive more than 164,000 doses throughout the month which will be used for hospital staff, skilled nursing facility staff and residents, and other Tier One individuals as outlined in Nevada’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program Playbook. This initial allocation should cover the majority of the Tier 1 individuals as outlined in the playbook.
The Nevada Health Response team says it anticipates receiving 25,350 doses in the first week, with a portion of those going to the state’s pharmacy partners, CVS and Walgreens, who will vaccinate those who work and reside in skilled nursing facilities.
The allocation is set to include 91,650 doses of Pfizer vaccine and 72,500 doses from Moderna.
The Nevada Health Response team says it anticipates receiving 25,350 doses in the first week, with a portion of those going to the State’s pharmacy partners, CVS and Walgreens, who will vaccinate those who work and reside in skilled nursing facilities.
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The rest of the doses received in the first week will not cover all the hospital staff in the state, so DHHS will provide a portion for hospital staff in every Nevada hospital.
And based on the latest information from the federal government, the state says it is expecting to receive enough first doses of the vaccine in the second week’s distribution to cover the remaining critical infrastructure workforce in hospitals throughout the state.
The second doses of the allocation are expected three to four weeks after the initial dose is delivered. Both Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines require two doses to be fully effective.
DHHS has developed an equitable and science-based plan to distribute COVID-19 vaccine to every Nevadan who chooses to receive it.
The vaccine will be distributed after the federal review and approval process is complete, which includes vetting through advisory committees with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee is planning to meet to review the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine emergency use authorization on Dec. 10 and then meeting Dec. 17 to review the Moderna product.
As part of the COVID-19 Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, Nevada continues to coordinate with other Western states in the independent review of the safety and efficacy of any vaccine approved by the FDA for distribution. This verification process is happening in coordination with the federal process and is not anticipated to cause any delay in getting a safe vaccine to the residents in these participating states.