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Logistical challenges with COVID vaccine plague health district

By Carla O'Day
A case containing doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Washoe County Health District had collectively received 8,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine and had used 92% of them as of Tuesday, although there have been logistical issues, County Manager Eric Brown told commissioners.

“We are still having operational challenges in the fact that the way the doses are being allocated around the country and here in Nevada,” Brown said. “We often don’t know until two or three days before the doses show up what the quantities will be. For instance, this week we received about 3,000 doses. Last week we received about 1,800 doses.”

County Commission Chairman Bob Lucey said he and his fellow commissioners have gotten numerous phone calls from constituents inquiring about vaccine availability. Brown said he understands the public may be frustrated due to inadequate or mixed information regarding COVID-19 vaccine distribution, but he urged patience.

“This isn’t a result of what the health district or state is or isn’t doing,” Brown said. “It’s a function of how the supply chain is being managed nationally.”

The number of vaccine distribution sites locally should increase if the incoming Biden administration’s plans for “100 million doses in 100 days” get rolled out successfully, Brown said.

For more information on vaccine eligibility criteria, visit

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Brown said those registering can expect approximately two emails per week.

As of Tuesday, 38,562 Washoe residents—approximately 8.1% of the county’s population—have tested positive for the virus, with 22,319 of them recovering, according to Washoe County’s COVID-19 Impact Dashboard. The virus has killed 544 people locally.

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