LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Cashman Center will close as a mass COVID-19 vaccination site on May 5, according to Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) and Clark County officials.
The announcement was made Thursday when officials, including Clark County Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick, appeared at the site. Kirkpatrick, who was there to receive her second vaccine dose, was joined by health district officials to talk about vaccination hesitancy and vaccination site changes.
“On Tuesday specifically, we did about 7,700 but today we’ll do roughly about 2,000, mostly second doses. Numbers are falling off and we’re looking at different options going forward of how we’re going to operate to continue to vaccinate the community” said Chief Greg Cassell, who is the Incident Commander and part of the Incident Management Team.
Cassell also announced Cashman’s closure and said that will allow “strike teams” to be set-up in smaller sites around the valley that would administer 300 to 500 vaccines a day.
He said Cashman Center will only administer second doses on its final day of operation, May 5. Vaccines will still be available at other sites including the Las Vegas Convention Center. You can click here for a link of the vaccine sites.
Cassell noted that the drop in number of people coming in to get vaccinated may be attributed to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause but added that “ramping down” assets had been part of the overall plan.
“No, we saw it every time a tier would open and 10-12 days later, we would be much slower than we were right when that tier would open up. So, I don’t think all of it is because of that, I think it’s undeniable there’s probably some people that are questioning it more; however, we’ve been planning on this as a team, managing these sites from when we’re going to start to ramp down and demobilize some of our assets,” said Cassell.
Vaccine hesitancy was also addressed by Dr. Fermin Leguen from SNHD who said efforts to inform and motivate the community to get vaccinated are still in place and the they are moving forward with their current campaign.
Leguen doesn’t believe the pause of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will have much impact locally. Clark County only administered 47,000 doses of that vaccine while more than 1 million people received either Moderna and Pfizer.
Kirkpatrick also addressed private vaccination efforts as more and more casinos are incentivizing their employees to get vaccinated, she said she supported the efforts as Las Vegas works to reopen its economy.
“The private sector is well within their rights to do whatever they want in order to help us with mitigation efforts,” said Kirkpatrick.
Around 2,000 people got their vaccine at Cashman Thursday. Some think downsizing will help those who have trouble getting to larger sites.
“I had to get a ride here myself, so, I think if they do have more ways to get vaccines into communities, I think that’s a good thing,” said Ian Falter.
Raymond Lopez shared, “I have to drive all this way to find if it’s going to be busy or not, whereas in the local stations, you can actually see if it’s going to be busy. It would probably make you more inclined to go get vaccinated, if you haven’t been vaccinated yet.”
Anyone getting a first dose at Cashman Center over the next few weeks will have their second dose scheduled at the convention center.