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Vaccine questions answered

Boulder City Hospital adheres to federal, state and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines for the distribution and administration of the COVID-19 vaccine. Due to the limited quantity available of the newly developed vaccine, a tiered system has been implemented and identifies vulnerable populations to be immunized.

At present, individuals identified in Tier 1A are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. In the coming weeks, dependent on federal and state directives, and CDC guidelines, vaccine supplies may be released earlier. Visit bchcares.org for the most up-to-date information.

This week, Boulder City Hospital is providing an in-depth look into concerns and questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.

Q. What has been done to plan for the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines?

The federal government oversees a centralized system to order, distribute and track COVID-19 vaccines. All vaccines will be ordered through the CDC and vaccine providers will receive vaccines from CDC’s centralized distributor or directly from a vaccine manufacturer.

■ The federal government may soon release vaccine quantities and amend distribution guidelines.

■ Nevada is closely monitoring inventory, distribution and any repositioning of vaccine allocations.

Q. Why can’t everyone get vaccinated and why isn’t there enough?

There isn’t enough of the vaccine produced to immunize everyone. There are two companies manufacturing the approved COVID-19 vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, and estimates report they anticipate a production capacity of 5.3 billion doses in 2021 for global use.

When you look at the number of eligible people worldwide, you can see the major production undertaking by both manufacturers.

■ Global population in March 2020: 7.8 billion people

■ U.S. population estimates in 2020: 331 million people

Q. Will there be enough vaccine for everyone?

The goal is for everyone to be able to easily get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as large quantities are available. Federal vaccine restrictions may soon be updated making the vaccine available to more individuals.

Q. When can I get my vaccine?

Limited vaccine production required implementation of the tiered system to identify vulnerable population segments.

■ Individuals identified in Tier 1A are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

■ Dependent on manufacturer supplies and updated guidelines, vaccines may soon be available for Tier 1B, including people aged 70 and over.

■ Increased quantities of the vaccine may make it possible for individuals to get vaccinated earlier than anticipated.

Q. I live in a small town, why can’t we be first to get the vaccine?

It’s not up to us. We rely on guidelines from federal and state agencies, and the CDC, based upon the available quantity of vaccines released to providers.

Q. What can I do now to help protect myself from getting COVID-19 since a vaccine is not yet available?

Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others; avoid close contact with people who are sick; stay 6 feet away from others; avoid crowds; and wash your hands often.

Q. My spouse is 70 years old, but I am in my 60s. Can we get the vaccine at the same time?

Due to existing tier guidelines, you may not be eligible to get the vaccine at the same time. However, some providers may allow for you to be vaccinated at the same time. Please check with your provider.

Q. My spouse is in a long-term care facility and received the vaccine. Can I get mine too so I can visit?

No visitors will be permitted entry into Boulder City Hospital except in the case of end-of-life situations or legal purposes. Only one adult visitor meeting the exceptions listed will be permitted and must also pass a COVID-19 screening prior to entrance.

Q. Who is paying for the COVID-19 vaccine?

Vaccine doses purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be given to the American people at no cost although some providers may charge a fee. Please check with your provider.

Q. Where can I get more information?

Visit our website at bchcares.org, email us at wecare@bchnv.org, or go to the CDC website, cdc.gov.

To Your Health is provided by the staff of Boulder City Hospital. For more information, call 702-293-4111, ext. 576, or visit bchcares.org.

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