Nevada lowers age to get vaccines from 75 to 70; Sisolak extends ‘pause’
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Gov. Steve Sisolak said Nevada is changing its priorities for distributing vaccinations to the public, including lowering the top priority age from 75 to 70 because of the number of seniors in the state.
On Monday, he said he is also extending the existing mitigation measures on restaurants, bars and gyms among other businesses to 25% capacity for another 30 days.
Sisolak said the state still hasn’t seen the full impact of the Christmas and New Year’s celebrations and expects to see increased infections in the coming weeks.
He said instead of the tiered system limiting who gets vaccinated first, the state is moving to a system designed to make sure every dose of the vaccines Nevada receives gets injected into someone’s arm.
But he and Health officials Shannon Bennett and Candace McDaniels said the state is hampered by the fact they don’t know how many doses Nevada will receive until the week before they arrive. Sisolak said he hopes a new administration in Washington will begin quickly to fix the situation so states have a better handle on what they will get and when.
After those 70 and older, McDaniel and Bennett said those between 64 and 69 years old will be next. But they said essential frontline workers also will begin receiving shots including those in public safety, community support, education and even food services. They said that means all those workers in Nevada’s food and other essential parts of the supply chain will be vaccinated when doses are available.
He said details are hard to come by because, “the federal government has made it difficult to provide some of these answers.” He said he knows Nevadans are anxious to know, “who, when and where” they will get a vaccine but that, for now, they have to be patient.
He said Nevada is behind some other states in actually vaccinating people because the state simply doesn’t have the dollars to provide the personnel some of the larger states have. He said state, county and local experts are working on fixing those issues.
McDaniel said the state is working on a plan to have a centralized place where anyone can see what is happening and when they might be able to get vaccinated.
“What’s most important isn’t the vaccines,” said Sisolak. “It’s the vaccinations.”
He said what Nevada needs now is “more flexibility from the federal government.”
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El Dorado County got through the weekend with no virus-related deaths and more recoveries than new cases.