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Locals receive COVID vaccines

The COVID-19 vaccines began rolling out in Boulder City this week despite distribution issues reported throughout the country.

“The city currently has the capability to vaccinate 300+ people daily for first doses,” wrote Boulder City Fire Chief Will Gray in an emailed statement. “However, there is a vaccine supply issue across the United States … . As this gets resolved and the supply increases, the Boulder City PODs (point of dispensing) will be able to vaccinate at least 380 people a day … . This capacity may be able to increase further when the second doses begin in mid-February, but this is dependent on the vaccine supply.”

The city recently set up two clinics for residents who are 70 and older and educators. It started dispensing vaccines Monday, Jan. 25.

Communications Manager Lisa LaPlante said “everything operated according to plan,” and 303 vaccinations were given out the first day.

“We have not had to cancel any appointments, but we are only scheduling residents 72 hours out at this time,” she said. “We hope that by sticking to this specific time frame for scheduling, we won’t need to cancel or reschedule any appointments.”

Residents reported having problems getting through to make appointments.

“The first week was hectic, but each day call volume dropped,” said LaPlante. “Today (Monday), people are getting through easier.”

The assisted living facilities in town also started dispensing COVID-19 vaccines last week to their residents.

Lakeview Terrace Senior Living Administrator Mary Rush said 98 percent of the residents have been given the first dose of the vaccine.

“We’ve already started,” she said. “Our second one (clinic) is on the 31st.”

Rush said they haven’t had any problems getting it and being able to dispense the vaccines has given her hope that things could be more normal soon.

“We’ve been locked up for so long … knock on wood, this will all be over soon,” she said. “It’s just so hard on these people.”

On Jan. 21, The Homestead at Boulder City started vaccinating its patients and staff.

“We are excited to participate in the initial phase of the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out that includes both our residents and staff,” said Executive Director Magali Ortiz in a press release. “Our residents are the most vulnerable to the negative impacts of COVID-19, and each team member on our staff continues to put their health on the line every day as they show their commitment to our residents’ care. The Pfizer vaccine was found to be highly effective, and we believe this will protect and save lives.”

Federal data shows that Nevada has received the second-lowest number of vaccine doses per capita among the states and also is at the bottom in terms of shots administered.

Of nearly 287,000 doses received by the state, about 212,000 have been delivered to counties and other vaccine providers, while more than 74,850 doses have been given to pharmacies to administer at their branches for those 70 and older and at long-term care facilities, said state vaccine official Candice McDaniel.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak has also asked the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to probe why Nevada is near the bottom of the list for the amount of COVID-19 vaccine distributed to states per capita.

“We need our fair share of vaccine doses to stand up and sustain successful vaccination efforts to reach Nevadans in an equitable fashion,” Sisolak wrote in a letter dated Sunday, Jan. 24, to acting Health and Human Services Secretary Norris Cochran.

Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Mary Hynes contributed to this report.

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

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