Unlike earlier this year, Clark County has copious amounts of COVID-19 vaccine this week, as well as the staff to administer it and the space to do so. The local health authorities now face a different challenge.
“Now we need people to come and get vaccinated,” said JoAnn Rupiper, senior administrative nurse for the Southern Nevada Health District, on Tuesday.
The health district, county government and partner agencies have all agreed to vaccinate thousands of residents who are newly dosed. Monday was the first day anyone aged 16 and over in Nevada could get a chance.
Between 4,500 and 5,000 appointments were booked for Tuesday at the bulk vaccination station at the Cashman Center in downtown Las Vegas, less than the newly expanded capacity of 7,000 or more, Rupiper said during a morning question-and-answer session with reporters.
By the end of the day, the site had delivered 6,000 doses, including between 800 and 900 of walk-ins, health district spokeswoman Stephanie Bethel said in an email.
“We expected to be busy this week,” said Travis Haldeman, a Clark County Fire Department engineer who manages the site. “We have been preparing for the moment we are in today for weeks.”
Appointments for this week on the construction site, which was closed on Monday, could only be booked on Saturday. Tuesday’s number of appointments doubled as the day progressed on Monday, said Haldeman, who expects demand to increase as the week progresses. By Tuesday morning, around 4,700 appointments were planned at Cashman for Wednesday.
Haldeman urged people to make appointments instead of coming to the site as walk-ins, but also said walk-ins would not be turned away if additional doses were available.
The queues in the morning moved quickly at Cashman, at a mass public location in the Las Vegas Convention Center and at a public location of the UNLV student union, each with minimal waiting times. The UNLV vaccination center is operating near its capacity of about 2,000 people, said Dr. Michael Gardner, President and CEO of UNLV Medicine, the medical practice of the university’s School of Medicine.
If demand increases, Cashman will be ready, Haldeman said. Most of the doses the site administered in a day are 6,300.
“A personal goal we have here at Cashman is to vaccinate 10,000 people under this umbrella. We really want to blow Dodger Stadium out of the water one day, ”he said, referring to the Los Angeles mass vaccination site.
“I know we have the staff here to do that. You won’t find anyone more motivated to vaccinate and do good for Southern Nevada than you are here. “
For information on vaccination sites, visit NVCovidFighter.org. If you need help making an appointment, call 800-401-0946.
Contact Mary Hynes at [email protected] Follow @ MaryHynes1 on Twitter.
Review Journal contributor Jonah Dylan contributed to the report.