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Nevada to receive COVID-19 vaccine this month

Updated December 4, 2020 - 2:00 pm

Nevada is set to receive more than 164,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine this month, the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services announced Friday.

The doses, which will arrive throughout the month, will be used for hospital staff, skilled nursing facility staff and patients, and other high-priority individuals, the state said.

The state expects to initially receive 91,650 doses of the Pfizer Inc. vaccine and 72,500 doses of the Moderna Inc. vaccine, for a total of 164,150 doses. These first doses are expected to cover nearly all the individuals in the first priority group, those designated as being part of the critical infrastruture and most at risk of contracting the disease under the state distribution plan.

Second doses of a vaccine are required three to four weeks after the initial doses are given. The state said it would receive additional shipments in time to give individuals their second shot.

The vaccines will be distributed after completion of the federal review and approval process, which includes vetting by advisory committees of the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The first priority group or tier also includes correctional facility staff and members of law enforcement, according to the state’s vaccine playbook submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Others in this first tier: emergency medical services personnel, front-line public health workers, laboratory workers, pharmacists, outpatient and home health care providers, national security personnel and state and local emergency operations staff.

There are about 173,000 people in this first tier in the state, a number higher than the 164,000 doses that initially will be provided.

The current focus is on the “critical health care workforce who are experiencing such a surge” in COVID-19 cases, Candice McDaniel, health bureau chief of the Bureau of Child, Family and Community Wellness, said during a call with reporters.

The vaccine is not expected to be widely available before spring or summer.

A second tier to receive the vaccine, which is subject to change based on upcoming federal recommendations, currently includes education and child care staff, college and university faculty, essential retail workers and prison inmates, among others.

A third tier includes those over age 65 and younger people with underlying health conditions.

A final tier is for healthy adults. Children are not expected to be eligible for the vaccine before there is further study of the vaccine’s effects on children.

Contact Mary Hynes at mhynes @reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0336. Follow @MaryHynes1 on Twitter.

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