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THE DOCTOR IS IN: Clark County doctors prepare to vaccinate patients, questions linger

Virtual townhall held with 100+ doctors attending
Posted at 10:19 PM, Dec 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-18 02:53:00-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The largest vaccination effort in American history continues even as some doctors are preparing and still learning as much as possible before injecting their patients with the COVID-19 vaccine once it becomes widely available.

In a virtual town hall meeting Thursday, more than 100 doctors from around Clark County listened to a variety of experts from around Southern Nevada to be brought up to speed on the latest vaccine developments.

Southern Nevada Health District officials expect by next week, Moderna's vaccine will be approved, shipped and administered to some Nevadans.

Also on Thursday, Nevada authorities announced the Centers for Disease Control would reduce Nevada's shipping allotment of Pfizer vaccines to roughly half of the expected 30,255.

RELATED: DHHS: Nevada’s 2nd COVID-19 vaccine allocation drops by 42% of original number

Even with the reduced shipment, authorities expect most of the Clark County hospital workers should receive their first sound dose by the end of next week.

"Interesting enough, now that the vaccine is here we have seen there has been a very positive response from the hospital staff and really almost everyone at the hospital actually getting vaccinated," said Dr. Fermin Leguen with the Southern Nevada Health District.

The virtual townhall touched on other topics including lingering questions on whether pregnant women should receive the vaccine.

"I think a lot of people will be nervous, understandably so, recommending a vaccine that was not studied in pregnant women," said Dr. Joseph Adashek a perinatologist.

Authorities say the current vaccine trials covered a wide range of adults with mild side effects reported.

Some allegoric reactions have been reported in both the UK and in the United States.

The research, however, did not study the impacts of the vaccine on pregnant women.

RELATED: Experts say pandemic has led to decline in both planned, unplanned pregnancies

Doctors say similar shots, such as the vaccine for the seasonal flu, are recommended for pregnant women for the protection it provides for both mother and unborn child.

"Many other similar vaccines are given millions of times a day in this country and around the world on pregnant women with incredible safety profiles and a significant decrease in death," added. Dr. Adashek.

The CDC has not provided guidance yet for pregnant women or women who are nursing as to whether the COVID-19 vaccine is recommended.

Doctors say, so far, COVID-19 has posed an increased risk for complications and even death for women who are pregnant.

"We are receiving a lot of requests or complaints depending on how you want to call it from people, from any of those different groups, asking why they are not included in tier one," said Dr. Leguen.

Southern Nevada health authorities say they are being contacted for people who want to get the vaccine, but the supplies remain in small enough supplies to vaccinate those in the highest priority group which consists of healthcare workers, front-line first responders and those in nursing homes.

Nevada has received about 25,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine as of Thursday evening.

People who receive either the Pfizer vaccine or Moderna vaccine if approved, require two doses to be effective. Each brand requires the dose to be spread between three or four weeks apart in order to be fully effective.