Nevada regulator spooked by vaccine survey

COVID-19 Vaccine.
COVID-19 Vaccine.

Nevada resort workers are at the front of the line for upcoming Covid-19 vaccines, but will they want them? The Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) wants to know, in light of news that as many as 35% of Nevadans will refuse to be vaccinated.

In a memo, the NGCB mandated that all licensees complete the Licensee Workforce Vaccination Survey by January 21, providing demographics information about their employees and presumably, how many plan to skip the needle. They also provided a bit of a push for operators to encourage their employees to get inoculated. The memo urged:

“Widespread vaccination of the industry’s workforce is essential to the health, safety, and prosperity of the industry itself, its workforce, and to state and local government. Therefore, submission of the information is mandatory.”

This memo came the same day a study by the University of Nevada, Reno and Nevada Department of Health and Human Services revealed 35% of Nevada residents weren’t sure they’d get themselves vaccinated. It’s believed that between 80 to 90% of the population needs to be inoculated for herd immunity to take effect.

Those more likely to get the vaccine were healthcare workers. They also discovered that with each level of additional education, desire to get vaccinated rose by 5%. The two age groups that most wanted a vaccine were those 55 and older, and 18-24. Those groups wanted to get pricked at a 70% to 75% rate, whereas 25-54 year old’s only rated at 50% to 60%.

If Nevada casino workers, are only getting vaccinated at a 50% clip, despite being prioritized as essential workers, that throws a wrench in the state’s plan for economic recovery. When Gov. Steve Sisolak announced resort workers could get the vaccine at the same time as healthcare workers, it was explicitly mentioned that this would help the state bounce back from the doldrums of Covid-19. If the workers don’t buy into that plan, tourists won’t feel safe to visit and it all falls apart rather quickly.