The University is working in partnership with the State of Nevada and Washoe County to distribute COVID-19 vaccines, as they are made available to us, to the members of our University community. We are following State of Nevada definitions and recommendations developed from guidance from the CDC and the Nevada State Immunization Coalition.
The State of Nevada announced on January 11 it has adopted a new approach to more efficiently coordinate vaccine distribution. The order in which Nevadans will receive the COVID-19 vaccine is determined by the state’s vaccination playbook [external PDF].
As outlined in the “NV COVID Playbook Version 3 (pages 2-3),” once Tier 1’s Phase 1a – Healthcare Workforce and Support – is completed, vaccinations will occur concurrently in two “lanes,” which will include “Frontline Essential Workforce” in one lane and the “General Population” in another lane. The Playbook further states that, “The population groups in each lane should be vaccinated in priority order.”
As set forth in Nevada’s Vaccine Playbook, vaccine administration throughout Nevada primarily occurs at the county level. Different Nevada counties, and subsequently different NSHE campuses located within those counties, have been administering the vaccine at different paces, depending on a variety of factors, such as geography, population and supply.
Tier 2 eligibility – how it has changed
Once what was formerly known as “Tier 1” is completed, the University will turn to the more than 2,100 eligible employees who were formerly defined as the “Tier 2” category for NSHE frontline workers in receiving the vaccine. There are still unknowns and variables that we are continually adapting to, such as the amount of vaccine allocated to the country and distribution logistics. We will know more soon regarding what our weekly allocation will be and how it will be distributed to the individuals who were originally placed in the Tier 2/Frontline NSHE employee classification.
Positions considered for what was formerly designated as Tier 2 in the State of Nevada’s vaccination playbook now listed as priority groups under “Workforce” include the following:
- Employees (including graduate assistants), student employees (non-graduate assistants) and adjunct faculty who teach face-to-face including “HyFlex” modes.
- Employees (including graduate assistants) with critical or time-sensitive research projects that require face-to-face interaction or working in close proximity to others.
- Employees that must come to campus to meet technical or support requirements to fulfill teaching or administrative infrastructure.
- Employees who have multiple, daily campus and face-to-face interactions with students, the community and the public (e.g., Cashier’s Office, Admissions and Records, Financial Aid, etc.) that must be done in person.
- Employees whose daily responsibilities require them to be on campus and keep the campus infrastructure maintained (e.g., campus cleaning, supporting equipment and HVAC that are exposed to public spaces regularly to complete their duties).
Non-teaching student employees (excluding graduate assistants) are not eligible in Tier 2.
The University’s eligibility list for the vaccine is employment based. If an employee resides outside of Washoe County, the employee can still be inoculated through Washoe County.
As the University will be providing vaccinations for the “Workforce” lane, we will not be vaccinating for age. Employees who are over 70 may choose to be vaccinated as part of the “General Population” lane. While some faculty may not qualify for vaccine prioritization based upon their current employment with NSHE, they may separately qualify for a higher vaccine prioritization based on independent criteria, such as their age or an underlying health condition.
In order to do this, these individuals can make appointments with local pharmacies or their healthcare providers. Appointments with local pharmacies will be open for senior COVID-19 vaccination as supply is available starting on Wednesday, Jan. 20. Participating pharmacies around Nevada will first vaccinate those who are 70 and older. According to the Nevada State Immunization Program, multiple pharmacies have joined in this effort and will be accepting appointments to their web-based systems. Information on county-by-county pharmacy participation and information on making an appointment will be available on NVCOVIDFighter.org.
Faculty who qualify for higher prioritization based on criteria separate from their employment with NSHE are in the same position as other similarly-situated members of their community.
Vaccination notification and point of dispensing information
If you are an eligible vaccine recipient, you will receive an email confirmation of your eligibility from the University. This email will contain information on how to make an appointment for your vaccination and the paperwork that must be completed and brought with you to the appointment.
- Appointments required. You must make an appointment to be vaccinated.
- Point of dispensing (POD). Vaccine appointments will occur at county point of dispensing locations, which is currently the Livestock Events Center.
- Adverse reaction waiting time. After receiving the first dose, you will be required to wait for at least 15-minutes at a designated area nearby to ensure no adverse reactions occur.
- Schedule second dose appointment. During your 15-minute wait time, you will be asked to schedule an appointment for your second vaccination dose, which can occur anywhere from 21 to 28 days after the first dose (depending on the vaccine used).
Continuing to fight the spread
In addition to making the vaccine readily available for individuals who wish to receive it, we must continue to be vigilant and not let our guards down. We must continue to wear facial coverings, practice social distancing, wash our hands frequently and continue to only gather with those who live in our households.
Policies and procedures remain in place
All employees, students employees, contractor and affiliate on campus must continue to adhere to the current policies and procedures, as well as any specific requirements for the department, class or activity operating on campus (on campus work refers to any work performed at any University office, property, field work or sponsored event).
COVID-19 vaccine resources
COVID-19 Vaccination Program
Review Nevada's Playbook for Statewide Operations from the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services. Resource is an external PDF.