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Orderly opening for COVID-19 vaccination center at Encore

Updated January 18, 2021 - 6:16 pm

A new COVID-19 vaccination site operated by University Medical Center opened Monday at Encore on the Strip.

“Serving Nevadans 70 and older, health care workers and first responders, the new location will provide hundreds of vaccine doses each day,” hospital spokesman Scott Kerbs said in an email.

On Monday morning, a parking attendant at the hotel-casino directed drivers entering the self-parking garage who were there for the vaccine to park on the first floor near an entrance with a sign labeled “vaccine clinic.”

Employees greeted people as they entered the property and guided those who said they had an appointment to a nearby registration area outside a ballroom where the vaccine clinic is located.

Stasia Winston, 76, said her appointment took only half an hour. “I don’t know how they did it. We applaud them,” she said.

“I was expecting a nightmare and this was very much the opposite,” said Winston’s son, Alexander, who stood with her in the line of 20 people.

“With appointments required, the site has effectively managed the flow of patient traffic to promote efficient vaccinations and reduced wait times,” Kerbs said. “… We encourage eligible community members to regularly check www.umcsn.com/COVIDvaccine for available appointments.

UMC expects to open up more appointments this week, he said. The site currently is operating Monday through Friday.

Downtown at the larger Cashman Center vaccination site, a long line for the vaccine wrapped around the building near an entrance off of Maryland Parkway.

Alice Berry, 75, said she’d waited about two hours to get the vaccine. But she wasn’t complaining.

“I don’t want to get the COVID,” she said.

The Cashman site opened with a pilot program on Thursday designed to test the system by administering shots to essential workers, Clark County and Southern Nevada Health District officials said. On Friday, the site officially opened by appointment to higher-priority groups, which included health care and public safety workers along with those 70 and older.

Late Friday, the appointment system on the Southern Nevada Health District website, which schedules appointments for the Cashman site, said that new categories of employees also would become eligible beginning Monday to make appointments, including those providing “front-line community support.”

This includes a broad swath of the community, from teachers to essential public transportation workers to mortuary personnel.

The health district’s appointment portal can be found at covid.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org/vaccine/distribution.

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

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