I extend warmest wishes for a happy and healthy 2021!
As we prepare for the Spring 2021 semester, we wanted to inform you of Nevada’s COVID-19 vaccination plans. The state has begun vaccination efforts for residents in Tier 1 of the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Tiers, which includes those working in the health care, law enforcement and public safety fields, along with individuals living in long-term care facilities. The state’s plan lists the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) in Tiers 2 and 3.
NSHE will partner with the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) to conduct vaccinations for NSHE’s Southern Nevada institutions. This includes faculty, staff, and students at Nevada State College, UNLV, the College of Southern Nevada, Desert Research Institute, and NSHE. The tiered system is being established consistent with the directives from the State of Nevada and the Nevada System of Higher Education. Chancellor Melody Rose distributed a letter last week on the NSHE vaccine distribution plans.
The vaccination effort is being led by volunteers from UNLV Medicine, UNLV School of Nursing, and the nursing programs at Nevada State College and CSN. NSHE is also assisting SNHD with vaccinations for other priority groups in Tier 1.
Prioritized roles within NSHE
The initial vaccinations dispensed by NSHE are first being given to remaining members of Tier 1 within NSHE and may include qualified individuals in the broader community.
NSHE has prioritized roles at its institutions as defined under the distribution tiers in the state’s plan in this order:
- Tier 2
Essential NSHE employees who conduct on-campus and in-person face-to-face work with students and/or the public will be eligible for the Tier 2 category. This category does not include NSHE employees who have been working remotely. Rather, this category is for those employees who are most at risk for exposure, including face-to-face contact, irrespective of whether they serve in an academic or administrative role.
- Tiers 3 and 4
We anticipate that the remainder of NSHE faculty and staff as well as students living in residential housing will be eligible for Tier 3 vaccinations. The remaining student body and the public will likely be in Tier 4, which may not begin until later in the Spring 2021 Semester.
Times and locations
Contingent upon the availability of supplies, vaccinations were scheduled to begin Jan. 11 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday on the UNLV Maryland Parkway campus. Vaccinations are anticipated to begin on the CSN Henderson campus from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. beginning Tuesday, Jan. 19. Appointments are required at both campuses. You will be provided with specific location information when your appointment is confirmed.
Again, the initial vaccinations that will be provided at UNLV and CSN will be given to individuals in Tier 1 who are with NSHE and in the broader community.
How to register
Nevada State faculty, staff, and students in Tier 1 have received an email to register through a portal on the UNLV Medicine website. Individuals in Tiers 2 and 3 will receive an email invitation to register when their roles become eligible for vaccinations and based on available supplies.
A few important things to note about registration:
- You will enter your name, contact information, and affiliation with the university. Your role will be crosschecked to determine when you are eligible for vaccination.
- You will be asked to enter your insurance information. While your insurance will be billed for services, you will not receive a bill and will not incur a personal charge for the vaccine.
- You will select a preferred date and time for vaccination. If you are not in Tier 1, you will be contacted when you are eligible to make an appointment. You will receive an email appointment confirmation. Do not go to the vaccination site without a confirmed appointment.
What to expect
When you arrive at the vaccination site for your appointment:
- You will need to show identification by either NSHE ID or driver license. Remember, stay home if you are not feeling well or have recently been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
- After you get your vaccination, you will be provided with a CDC vaccination record card noting the type of vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer) you received and the date you will need to return for your second dose. Depending on the vaccine you receive, you will be scheduled to return 21 to 28 days later. It is vital that you return for your second dose for the vaccination to effectively protect you against contracting COVID-19.
- You will receive a reminder about your second vaccine appointment by email one week prior and a text the day before you are to return.
Why you should get the vaccine
Vaccination is the greatest chance we have to stop the spread of COVID-19, protect those we love, get people back to work, and resume a more normal existence. Our goal as part of NSHE is to vaccinate as many of our faculty, staff, and students as possible to help our community achieve what is often referred to as herd immunity. This level of immunity will help us reduce the infectious rate and it will save lives. It will help us shift the many people currently focused on COVID-19 back to our educational mission.
To achieve widespread immunity with vaccines that are 95% effective, 70% of the population must be vaccinated. Everyone is vital to this effort. I urge you to register as soon as the portal is live and please take advantage of the opportunity to get your vaccine as soon as you are eligible. Every person’s situation is different so please talk with your primary care provider about the vaccine and what is right for you.
While I do respect health and religious reasons for not vaccinating, I think it is important for higher education to be thought leaders in respecting science, helping control the pandemic, and assisting in returning students as soon as possible to a more traditional campus experience. Over five million people and counting have been vaccinated in the U.S. Confidence will increase as we gain further experience with efficacy and any side effects of concern.
We will continue to keep you updated as the vaccination effort gets underway and we will post updates at nsc.edu/vaccine. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or if you would like to speak with a Nevada State College expert. Additional resources from the CDC, SNHD, Immunize Nevada, and the state can be found at nshe.nevada.edu/covid-vaccine-distribution/ and nsc.edu/coronavirus.
Thank you for your patience and your trust.
Be Safe. Be State.