Nevada Health Response officials said today that statewide vaccination efforts have seen positive results over the past week with first doses received by Nevadans coming in higher than the national average. They’re crediting the increase in vaccination rates to more aggressive community outreach and the incentive created by Vax Nevada Days, the state’s $5 million giveaway.
Young people ages 12 to 17 have had the largest vaccination rate increase at 42% since the launch of Vax Nevada Days. The giveaway’s prize opportunities include college savings funds for teens ranging from $5,000 to $50,000.
Lyon County, officials said, had the highest week-over-week improvement to vaccination rates increasing vaccine initiation by 2.7% and completion by 1.8%.
There’s still work to be done, however. At the current vaccination rate, officials said Nevada won’t reach 70% of eligible residents vaccinated against COVID-19 until December. President Biden said he had hoped to reach 70% of Americans vaccinated by July 4. That target was missed as vaccine hesitancy and misinformation has festered online and across communities.
Low vaccination rates are being blamed for “concerning increases in cases, positivity and hospitalizations” from COVID-19 in Clark County.
Aggressive vaccination efforts will continue, Nevada’s immunization officials said.
Staff from the state’s vaccine hotline have made 20,000 phone calls to those who are past due to receive their second dose of vaccine. The state is also working with mobile clinic partners to deliver vaccine to rural, frontier and hard to reach communities, and a tribal telephone town hall drew 800 attendees.
Meanwhile, MGM is betting on prizes to lure people to the Las Vegas Strip to get vaccinated. Park MGM will offer vaccines for those ages 12 and older from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, July 17 and give away sporting event tickets and hotel packages.
The second week of Vax Nevada Days givewaways is tonight at 6 p.m. Information on Vax Nevada Days can be found at VaxNevadaDays.org.
For vaccination information and locations visit NVCOVIDFighter.org or call 1-800-401-0946.
Kristen Hackbarth is a freelance editor and communications professional with more than 20 years’ experience working in marketing, public relations and communications in northern Nevada. Kristen graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in photography and minor in journalism and has a Master of Science in Management and Leadership. She also serves as director of communications for Nevada Cancer Coalition, a statewide nonprofit. Though she now lives in Atlanta, she is a Nevadan for life and uses her three-hour time advantage to get a jump on the morning’s news.