LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The first shipment of Moderna, the nation’s second COVID-19 vaccine, arrived at the Southern Nevada Health District on Tuesday.
The shipment includes 15,000 doses. According to the health district, most of those doses will be used to vaccinate Tier 1 health care workers. So far, the health district has received a total of nearly 28,000 doses of vaccine. Shipments of Pfizer’s vaccine arrived last week. Moderna is also shipping 16,478 doses to hospitals this week.
“The two vaccines are important tools in our efforts to end the COVID-19 pandemic. I want to remind everyone that is important to get our community’s health care staff members vaccinated so they can continue to provide the essential services and support we have all relied upon during this pandemic,” said Dr. Fermin Leguen, the Southern Nevada Health District’s Acting Chief Health Officer. “We will continue to receive COVID-19 vaccine supplies and as we do, we will let each of the identified groups know when they are able to get vaccinated. “
The health district said its vaccine plan mirrors the state’s distribution plan, which is a tiered distribution plan, to ensure the initial supplies of vaccine are provided to the critical populations.
Aside from health care personnel, residents and staff at long-term care facilities are included in Tier 1. Their vaccines will be handled by pharmacy providers.
SNHD hopes to complete Tier 1 vaccinations by the end of January, and then move on to Tier 2.
“We have plans in place for all of Tier 1 for the next few weeks, hoping to complete that at the end of January. So, we’ll move on to the next tier, psychiatric hospitals and behavioral health. Then, we’ll move on to first responders and EMTs,” said JoAnn Rupiper, director of clinical services at SNHD.
The health district says Tier 2 is a large group, so it expects to take more time administering COVID vaccines to those individuals. SNHD staff are also looking at teachers and childcare workers.
The timeline will depend on how much of the vaccine we get, which will continue to happen in phases.
8 News Now asked the health district when we can expect the general public to start getting vaccinated. The Chief Medical Officer told us he doesn’t expect that to happen before April.