A change in strategy to get more Nevadans vaccinated

Coronavirus

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — State health officials say they want more people to get the COVID-19 vaccine. During Wednesday’s virtual mitigation meeting, they explained a plan going forward to get more people protected.

For months, the Las Vegas Convention Center has been busy, with thousands getting their vaccine every day. The number of cars dwindling at the mega-site has indicated, though, that far less are coming.

As more of Nevada opens, state health officials expected a slight uptick in cases but say it is nothing to necessarily worry about.

During the meeting, it was reported that roughly 1,700,000 vaccines have been administered to around 43% of the state’s population. About 29% of the population has completed the vaccination process.

These numbers need to improve.

Health officials want to find out why some are hesitating to get the vaccine.

“I do think we are starting to see the point where we have enough vaccines, supply to meet Nevada’s demand,” said Karissa Loper of the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health. “And we need to start reaching into communities more comprehensively, including working with groups like faith leaders, the Mexican consulate and other community-based organizations, to ensure Nevadans know when and where to get vaccinated.”

East Las Vegas is still hard-hit by the virus. Areas like this are where the state wants to raise awareness about the vaccine.

“In terms of the goal, we want to reach what is going to be herd immunity and most protected for all Nevadans,” Loper explained.

8 News Now spoke with a few people who went to the convention center to get their vaccines Wednesday, and they were in and out in less than 30 minutes. Many were surprised by how empty it was.

“Inside, it was like there is nobody,” said Michelle Steele. She added, “I was like, ‘Well, this isn’t going to take me very long.'”

Brent Casteel said, “I am very surprised to see how empty it is.”

This is compared to a few weeks ago, when it was a very different scene, with a packed parking lot.

“It was in and out in 15 or 20 minutes, with the waiting period after the injection,” Steele shared.

This is the perfect time to get your vaccine if you haven’t done so yet.

“I decided to wait, push it off, to see if more appointments were available,” said Tyler Smith, “and I was like, ‘Let’s do it now.'”

The Southern Nevada Health District plans to close Cashman Center for vaccines May 5 and use those resources for pop-up clinics in impacted areas.

State officials also say in recent weeks, they have noticed a decline in the amount of people getting tested for the virus. They say if you do show symptoms, it is still important to get tested, as well, to slow the spread.

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