Nevada COVID-19 vaccine plan prioritizes vaccine for front-line medical workers

Published: Oct. 26, 2020 at 9:01 AM PDT|Updated: Oct. 26, 2020 at 5:37 PM PDT
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CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) - Gov. Steve Sisolak on Monday assured Nevadans the state is prepared when a COVID-19 vaccine is available, and said priority would be given to those most at risk of exposure.

At a press conference in Carson City, the Governor and state health experts laid out details for what they called Nevada’s playbook including the distribution and administration of a vaccine.

While he said there is no definitive timeline for when a vaccine would be approved, the Governor said Nevada has a system in place.

Candice McDaniel, Health Bureau Chief, Bureau of Child, Family, and Community Wellness, Division of Public and Behavioral Health said the state is expecting a limited number of doses and that front-line medical workers would be given priority since they are most at risk of being exposed to coronavirus.

McDaniel said the playbook was submitted to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention on October 16, 2020 and likened it to the frame of a house. “It sets the structure, but now we need to furnish it and attend to the details," she said. “Our goal is to be prepared as possible.”

Shannon Bennett, the Immunization Program Manager, of the Division of Public and Behavioral Health also spoke about vaccine trials. She said the vaccine goes through several levels of clinical trials which include people of different ages and races who are monitored for side effects and effectiveness of the immunization. Currently, she said, there are no trials including children or pregnant women and they do not expect a vaccine for those groups until clinical groups are expanded to include them.

The Governor said he will provide additional updates during COVID-19 Task Force meetings, and future press conferences.

The Governor reiterated new concerns with rising COVID cases in Nevada, and again urged Nevadans to wear a face covering, continue to social distance, and encouraged anyone with symptoms to take a COVID test and stay home.

“I don’t know how to make this clear, this is real," he said. “It would be irresponsible of me to minimize the risk our state is facing.”

The Governor said he is also working on a plan to increase capacity to 50 percent for state conventions by January 2021.

He assured Nevadans he is working with health and education leaders to get all students back in the classroom, but said the direction we’re headed depends on the actions of everyone.

“Nevada: I know this isn’t easy, but we can do this together. Let’s make the right choices,” he said.

The Governor was asked about recent citations issued by Nevada’s OSHA following President Trump’s rally at the Minden-Tahoe Airport in September, where attendance violated the 50-person cap put in place by Governor Sisolak, and whether stricter enforcement will be put in place.

The Governor referenced future political rallies ahead of next week’s General Election and said, “If you’re coming to Nevada as a guest, follow our protocols."

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