Amid rise in COVID-19 cases in Southern Nevada, health officials increase vaccine efforts

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Health officials say for those who still have not gotten vaccinated, it’s very important they do so for their safety.

Even though the number of deaths is dropping, we still have to remember last year we lost over 600,000 Americans.

“We are a little over halfway so the 40 something percent of people in Southern Nevada under the age of 12 who haven’t been vaccinated, we still think it’s very important they do that.” Michael Gardner, Vice Dean of Clinical Affairs for the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV said.

Gardner says although we are not seeing a huge jump in cases, what we are seeing is the positivity rate in Southern Nevada rising.

Those testing positive are those not vaccinated.

The health district says they are monitoring the spread of delta and other covid-19 variants. Recent lab sequencing reports show the delta variant is not predominant here.

“Even the new Delta variant that people are very worried about, and rightly so, if you had particularly the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine the mRNA vaccines, it seems to be 98-99 percent effective,” added Gardner.

Also, there is not an increase in hospital admissions or to the ICU.

“I am worried about the parts of the country that for whatever reason have not chosen to get the vaccine in large numbers Missouri is a classic example,” he added.

Gardner says with vaccinations low in that state, there is an uptick of hospitalizations. And he hopes that people see and hear what is going on in other states and do what is asked to prevent it here.

“If you’re not vaccinated you should be worried about it. It’s highly likely that we may need a booster will that be annual, would that be every 5 years, we just don’t know yet,” Gardner said.

As for wearing masks, it is not recommended if you are vaccinated. It is up to you. But federal rules still require them on planes, buses, and trains, regardless of vaccination status.

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