LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Data from the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) and the U.S. Census Bureau shows residents of more affluent ZIP codes across the Las Vegas valley have received COVID-19 vaccines, versus those living below the poverty line. On top of that, state data shows white Nevadans are outpacing other races in getting vaccinated.
The health district does not provide specific numbers for the number of people vaccinated, instead providing ranges separated in groups of 2,000.
The areas of the valley with the most residents who have been vaccinated are in Henderson and the far southeast and west sides. Working class neighborhoods and areas with a higher Hispanic population are seeing fewer numbers.
Data from the health district shows the ZIP code with the most vaccines so far is 89052 in Henderson. The median income in the ZIP code, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, was more than $85,000.
The ZIP code with the lowest median income is 89101, which comprises downtown and the area roughly bounded by Owens Avenue, Charleston Boulevard, Main Street and Pecos Road. Fewer than 2,000 doses have been administered to residents in 89101.
During a press call Wednesday, the I-Team’s David Charns asked leaders with SNHD why the disparity exists.
“If you look at who we’ve been immunizing first, it was the healthcare workers and first responders and police force, so it may be that reason why those ZIP codes are more highly vaccinated than others,” JoAnn Rupiper, SNHD’s director of clinical services, said.
Rupiper noted the vaccine is limited to people 70 and older and may account for the discrepancy. SNHD has held clinics in minority-populous ZIP codes.
“We will continue to do that work,” Rupiper said, adding there are several other initiatives to reach out to the Hispanic and Black communities. “There may be other reasons why they may not want to get the vaccine. Some people may be more hesitant than others.”
SNHD’s incident commander Greg Cassell said there have been vaccine clinics open in the ZIP codes with lower median incomes, but where appointments are not filled. In order to not waste the vaccine, Cassell said the appointments will be opened up to others living outside of the area.
“We have had people from out of town show up because they are allowed to do so,” Cassell said, adding as more tiers are opened, he expects the variance to subside.
Earlier this month, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak announced an initiative to address the equity in the distribution of the vaccine.
“Clark County is facing an equity crisis; it must stop,” the governor said. “I am alarmed at what I am seeing.”
Data from the Department of Health and Human Services showed more than 57% of those who have been vaccinated are white, but white Nevadans make up just a little less than the state population at 49.8%.
Hispanic Nevadans make up 30% of the population, but Hispanics make up 11% of those who have been vaccinated.
On Wednesday, the governor announced Nevada was moving to the next tier, adults 65 and older, for vaccine eligibility.