Vaccination update

December 30, 2020

This message was sent to students, faculty and staff at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Dear Wolf Pack Family,

I hope the holiday season has been an enjoyable one for you.

In recent days, there have been a number of questions regarding COVID-19 vaccination availability. Although there are still a few unknowns, here is an update with the information currently available regarding vaccination and how University faculty, staff and students will receive them.

Washoe County has developed a POD (point of dispensing) for vaccination distribution at the Livestock Events Center. They are using a tiered structure following guidance from the CDC and the Nevada State Immunization Coalition.

“Tier 1” includes frontline workers such as University medical personnel who are actively engaged in patient care. These individuals are currently eligible, and in some instances are already receiving the vaccine. First doses of Tier 1 vaccinations will continue to take place until at least Jan. 11, 2021.

Tier 2 includes “Education and Childcare Staff” and “Nevada System of Higher Education Frontline Faculty/Staff.” “NSHE Frontline Faculty/Staff” includes anyone employed by NSHE and physically working on campus during the Spring 2021 Semester. For University purposes, “Education and Childcare Staff” only includes those personnel working in person at a childcare site on campus.

Tier 3 includes “Remainder of NSHE staff” and “students living in campus-sponsored residential settings.”  Tier 3 includes faculty who are teaching remotely in the spring or not working on campus in person until the Summer 2021 Semester.

Tier 4 will include otherwise healthy, general student body and all other healthy adults. Vaccination availability for Tier 4 is anticipated across the county in late spring 2021. 

Please understand that there will be a large number of personnel in Washoe County and NSHE in Tier 2. A list of all eligible employees will be generated through Workday and will serve as documentation of any of our employees’ NSHE employment at the vaccination point of distribution. NSHE employees will not have to present employer verification, only a photo ID and whatever further documentation Washoe County is requiring, which includes a COVID screening questionnaire and appointment confirmation email.

The University will inform Tier 2 personnel via email when they are eligible. The email will contain information on how to make an appointment to be vaccinated at the county POD. More information and a FAQ will be forthcoming on the University’s coronavirus information page.

Persons who meet criteria for newly defined tiers, such as age categories of 75+ years of age (Tier 2) or 65-74 years of age or other underlying health conditions (Tier 3), may be eligible to receive vaccinations at participating pharmacies or other healthcare locations in Washoe County beginning in late January instead of waiting for eligibility based on employment. This will be announced through local news sources when more information is available in the next few weeks.  

Reminders for when a person is eligible and has chosen to receive the vaccine:

  • Make appointment through the Washoe County website.
  • Bring all supporting documentation including photo ID, verification of employment and appointment confirmation email.
  • Complete COVID-19 screening and consent form prior to appointment time.

Additional information to consider:

  • According to the Washoe County Health District, vaccine doses are limited and it is very important that you participate during your scheduled appointment time.
  • If you miss an appointment, it could mean that your next opportunity would not come until the vaccine is made available to the general population.
  • All NSHE vaccine distribution in Washoe County will occur at the Reno Livestock Events Center parking lot. The entrance for vaccine distribution is Gate Four, off Sutro Street.
  • The vaccine requires two doses. Depending on which vaccine is initially administered, a second dose will be required 21 to 28 days later.
  • WCHD will be administering vaccine that is allocated by the State of Nevada. There will be no ability to determine or select which manufacturer’s vaccine will be offered for the first dose.
  • Individuals who are sick or under isolation or quarantine for COVID-19 are not eligible to receive the vaccine until they are symptom free and/or released based on CDC guidelines.
  • You will be required to wait 15 minutes after your vaccination before leaving the vaccination site. A location will be provided and Emergency Medical Services will be available if there are any immediate adverse reactions.

As this remains a highly complex process and continues to be dependent on the delivery of a substantial number of vaccine doses, we will continue to update you regularly regarding any new information we receive, particularly as it relates to the composition of the priority groups.

Any anxiety and uncertainty any of you are feeling right now is certainly understandable. I want to assure you that the University is working diligently to ensure that all of our faculty, staff and students who wish to receive the vaccine are given the opportunity to do so in a timely manner as vaccine becomes available. Thank you, as always, for your work and dedication on behalf of the University.

Sincere regards,

Brian Sandoval