Las Vegas Sun

October 27, 2021

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As Nevada begins vaccinating general public, Clark County hits milestone

General Public Vaccinations at UNLV

Wade Vandervort

Daniele Franklin, 21, fills out an intake form while waiting in line to get a COVID-19 vaccination at UNLV, Monday, April 5, 2021.

General Public Vaccinations at UNLV

Theresa Nolan, Executive Director of Clinical Operations for UNLV Medicine, fills syringes with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at UNLV, Monday, April 5, 2021. Launch slideshow »

Nevadans 16 and older became eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination Monday, and that wasn’t the only milestone.

Clark County reported early in the day it surpassed the 1 million mark in doses distributed — a combination of first and second shots — at various sites around Southern Nevada.

At UNLV, about 2,200 people set appointments for shots at the clinic inside the student union, which marked a single-day record and full-capacity booking for the site since it opened Jan. 11.

With no age, occupational or underlying health concern restrictions, the patients queuing up Monday were noticeably younger than they have been so far this year.

Hanna Degutes, a 20-year-old UNLV student, got the shot for the safety of her grandparents, who she’s been waiting awhile to visit.

“I’ll be seeing them soon,” she said.

John Miranda, 31, said the vaccine is “another box to check to show that I’m taking care in my efforts to better my health” and that of people around him.

Husband and wife Morgan and Nina Smith were at UNLV for her second and his first shot. With medically high-risk people at home, they want to safely “take care of each other and loved ones and the community as a whole,” Nina Smith, 41, said.

Michael Gardner, the UNLV School of Medicine president and CEO, said the campus clinic should be past the 90,000-shot mark by the end of the week.

Gardner said vaccine hesitancy remains an obstacle to reaching the herd immunity that Las Vegas and all of society needs to exit the pandemic. But he hopes UNLV can dispense 10,000 shots a week, its full capacity, until that immunity goal is reached.

“I think we’ll get there,” Gardner said while standing amid the organized bustle. “Today is a big day.”

The action took place in what’s normally a ballroom on the student union’s second floor. Fifteen stations staffed by nurses and nursing students swiftly administered the jabs while about a half-dozen staffers filled syringes with 0.5 ml each of Moderna vaccine.

The region’s two largest clinics, the Southern Nevada Health District-run Cashman Center and Las Vegas Convention Center megasites, are closed Mondays. They will begin offering shots to the general public on Tuesday.

Clark County announced that it has seen 1,026,113 COVID-19 vaccine doses as of Monday among the combined efforts of the county, the health district, University Medical Center, the Nevada National Guard, the local cities, EMS providers, pharmacies and other community partners like UNLV. Roughly 16% of Nevada’s population, or about 21% of those 16 and older, has been fully vaccinated.

“This is a tremendous accomplishment, and we must continue to build on these achievements to stop the pandemic,” Dr. Fermin Leguen, Southern Nevada Health District chief, said in a statement. “I urge everyone who can get vaccinated to do so, and to continue to take the recommended precautions to stay healthy.”

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