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Nevada National Guard SPC Katherine Deskins, left, vaccinates Dennis West during the first day of COVID-19 inoculation at the Cashman Center on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. (Jeff Scheid/The Nevada Independent)
Last updated: March 11th, 2021 - 8:30am

About 63 percent of Nevadans age 65 and older have been vaccinated as of Wednesday, but state health officials say they are aiming for between 70 and 80 percent in order to move on to the next eligible group, as laid out in the governor’s COVID-19 vaccine playbook.

During a weekly press conference, Caleb Cage, Nevada’s COVID-19 response director, urged Nevadans to contact those around them who are in that age group to provide guidance on how to receive a vaccine. 

“This age group is really important to get vaccinated. So please help a friend, a neighbor, a parent or a loved one, get connected to a vaccine in their area,” Cage said. “As we've said before, we encourage all Nevadans to reach out to those they know and make sure they have a plan and understand what steps need to be taken to be vaccinated.”

Cage said each of Nevada’s 17 counties is moving at its own pace and vaccinating different age groups and eligible workforce, although all are serving those 65 and older. Currently only Churchill and Elko counties have extended the age eligibility to those 55 and older. Multiple counties are also including those between 16 and 64 years old with underlying conditions or disabilities, or who are experiencing homelessness. 

Southern Nevada Health District officials have reported vaccination sites experiencing unfulfilled appointments or no-shows, especially with second doses. But Cage emphasized that the state’s diverse communities and economies pose a challenge to carry out the vaccination process uniformly across counties. 

“There are so many factors here that add to the complexity. Elko County has a very different environment and landscape than Clark County and the economies are different throughout the state and the workforces are different throughout the state,” Cage said. “The biggest challenge has been, and will remain, managing all of the complexities.”

This story was updated at 8:30 a.m. on March 11, 2021, to include Elko County's extended age eligibility for the general public.

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