How Does The Federal Government Determine How Many Doses Nevada Should Get?

“We could use ’em”, says University Medical Center CEO Mason Van Houweling.

“The county and the state have done their part advocating for our state. I think it is just more of a federal allocation issue, and we’re ready to go. We’re ready to deliver on this,” he told me Tuesday at the county’s public hospital.

So how does the federal government determine how many doses Nevada should get?

What I’m hearing from the Department of Health and Human Services is that the number of doses is set on a proportional basis by a state’s population over 18. It’s not based on a state’s total population, the agency says. HHS tells me that formula is consistent across all states and jurisdictions.

On Monday, I told you the governor fired off a letter to the acting head of HHS asking for clarification on the amount of vaccine our state is receiving. Governor Steve Sisolak, D-Nevada, told acting secretary Norris Cochran Nevada needs its “fair share.” Sisolak did that after the numbers said we were getting the second-lowest amount, per capita, in the nation.

If we got more, Clark County Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick says we could do 92,000 vaccinations a week. As of last week, the Southern Nevada Health District reported there have been 60,632 vaccines since they began in December.

“We’re prepared to have 24-hour sites, we’re prepared to have some drive-through sites, we really just need more vaccine,” Kirkpatrick says.

About that number of doses delivered to Nevada: HHS says it’s based on the number of doses the state has ordered, not that are allocated. Nevada says it orders its full allocation for first shots and orders its delivery for second shots when it’s time to be administered, rather than have them sit in refrigerators locally, possibly risking the chance of being spoiled.

According to the numbers on the HHS website, since the beginning of vaccine distribution and through the end of February, for both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, Nevada has been allocated 638,200 doses, which includes first and second shots.

As of Monday, Nevada reported 286,950 doses distributed here by the federal government. Of those, 212,100 have been sent to counties and providers; 74,850 have been delivered to pharmacies, which are used for nursing home residents and staff.



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