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NEW: NV gets vaccine rollout overhaul, seniors prioritized

Nevada mitigation 'pause' extended 30 days
Steve Sisolak_file.PNG
Posted at 11:43 AM, Jan 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-12 10:28:03-05

CARSON CITY (KTNV) — UPDATE 11:30 P.M.: Nevada authorities are making major changes to the statewide vaccine distribution plan by eliminating the tiered approach and adding flexibility to distribute the vaccine faster to vulnerable senior populations.

The new playbook puts the population into "lanes," which will allow the general population to begin vaccinations concurrently with essential healthcare and public safety workers.

ACCESS: READ THE NEWEST NEVADA VACCINE PLAYBOOK AS OF JAN. 11, 2021

Seniors, aged 70 and older, are in the highest priority group for the general population vaccination line.

The age was adjusted lower following guidance from the CDC.

“We have moved to a model where our essential front line workers and specific high-risk populations will move into parallel lines," explained Candice McDaniel with Nevada Health and Human Services.

McDaniel addressed the changes in a virtual news conference Monday and said those older than 65 and people with underlying health conditions are also near the top of the priority list.

"Nevadans between the ages of 16 and 64 with underlying conditions, the immunization program has worked with our partners and community groups to identify those with underlying health conditions are using the CDC guidance for specific underlying health conditions that put a person at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19," explained McDaniel.

Underlying health conditions or risks outlined by the state include:

  • CANCER CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE
  • COPD (CHRONIC OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY DISEASE)
  • CYSTIC FIBROSIS
  • PULMONARY FIBROSIS
  • OTHER CHRONIC LUNG DISEASES
  • DOWN SYNDROME
  • HEART CONDITIONS:
    • HEART FAILURE
    • CORONARY HEART DISEASE, OR CARDIOMYOPATHIES
  • IMMUNOCOMPROMISED FROM SOLID ORGAN TRANSPLANT
  • OBESITY (BODY MASS INDEX, BMI, OF 30-39) AND SEVERE OBESITY (BMI OF 40 OR GREATER)
  • PREGNANCY
  • SICKLE CELL DISEASE
  • TYPE 2 DIABETES MELLITUS
  • SMOKING

“Our team has recognized the importance of prioritizing our senior population who have been hit hard by this virus and we are developing plans with partners to help with this vaccination effort," said Gov. Steve Sisolak.

State authorities say the supply of vaccine is still not enough to cover all people who are considered the most at-risk.

“I’m just really excited for the governor heard us and will continue to hear us I think this is a major improvement in a strategy," said Jeff Klein, CEO of Nevada Senior Services.

Klein applauds the decision to prioritize seniors but says the next hurdle is to create a vaccination plan that keeps seniors safe.

“You are not going to see a lot of seniors coming out to a stadium for mass vaccinations, for example," explained Klein.

"Even going into the neighborhood drugstore is a challenge because it puts them into way too much contact with others," added Klein.

The governor and state leaders say they are working on a logistical plan to reach home-bound and seniors who are not willing or able to venture into public for vaccinations.

The new plan also identifies a new priority group.

“We have proudly added a new bucket called 'front line commerce and service industries' which includes the food-service and hospitality workforce," explained McDaniel.

"We know Nevada is the hospitality capital of the world," added McDaniel.

Casino workers and hospitality workers have been identified as a key group to receive the vaccine, but authorities say they are unable to provide estimates as to when certain groups will have access to the vaccine because of the unpredictable flow of supply from the federal government.

"I know the number one question that people ask is, 'when will I get mine,' and trust me, there is no one who wants to provide that timeline and that vaccine more than me," said Gov. Sisolak.

Gov. Sisolak touched on several other topics include the chaos at the US Capitol last week.

“The chaos that erupted at the US Capitol was the opposite of patriotic, it was undemocratic and un-American," said Gov. Sisolak

The governor also addressed growing concerns of armed protests in the days leading up to the inauguration of President-Elect Joe Biden.

“We’re hoping that people will protest in a responsible, peaceful manner and not take to violence or mob rule," explained Gov. Sisolak.

Gov. Sisolak went on to denounce communications from the Nye County GOP Chairman who has stirred controversy over remarks, among many baseless claims, including President Trump will remain in the White House past Jan. 20.

"It's an embarrassment to the entire state, do I condemn it, you bet I condemn it," said Gov. Sisolak.

"Language for party officials and community leaders that incite insurrection and violent uprisings and promote blatant falsehoods are especially dangerous at a time like this," added Gov. Sisolak.

During the press conference, Sisolak announced he would be extending the "Nevada Pause" for an additional 30 days. The pause was set to expire on Jan. 15.

ORIGINAL STORY: Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak held a virtual press conference on Monday to provide an update on the state's COVID-19 mitigation and immunization efforts.

During the press conference, Sisolak announced he would be extending the "Nevada Pause" for an additional 30 days. The pause was set to expire on Jan. 15.

RELATED: Tier 1 individuals receive COVID-19 vaccine in Southern Nevada

Gov. Sisolak was joined by the Health Bureau Chief for the Bureau of Child, Family and Community Wellness Candice McDaniel, and Immunization Program Manager with the Division of Public and Behavioral Health Shannon Bennett.

Officials discussed updates to the Nevada COVID-19 vaccine playbook, the full playbook can be seen at NVHealthResponse.nv.gov.

The state will get rid of the tiered system in exchange for what the governor called lanes. You can see the lanes described in this graphic:

jan 111 vaccine playbook.PNG

Watch the full press conference in the video player above.