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Would-be COVID-19 vaccine recipients find Cashman Center shuttered

A Las Vegas attorney said she was one of at least five people with a Friday afternoon COVID-19 vaccination appointment at Cashman Center who arrived to find a shuttered facility.

“I checked in to confirm the appointment this morning when I got an email asking me if I was showing up,” Emily Strand, 27, said. “I had to take some time off work but only had to come from downtown so it was no big deal, but what about somebody who had to take like two buses or pay for an Uber?”

While there for her supposed 4 p.m. appointment, she ran into four other people who said they had confirmed appointments close to her appointment time.

“It was a suspiciously empty parking lot,” she said. She ran into two women and then two men, adding that they made a few calls without getting any help and then Googled to find an article that told them Cashman Center’s vaccination operation was shut down.

“It (Cashman Center) was up on the website as late as yesterday or the day before,” Strand said. “It doesn’t seem like they are on their A game.”

She said none of the five received notification of the closure and a need to find a new clinic.

On April 15, officials said operations would end May 5 at Cashman Center because of declining vaccination rates. A late afternoon check Friday of the SNHD.org vaccination portal did not show Cashman Center as a choice for vaccinations, but did list a dozen sites either operating now or planned in the coming days.

A Friday afternoon phone call by the Review-Journal to a Southern Nevada Health District spokesperson ended up in a “mailbox full” response. The health district did respond on Saturday.

“We are very sorry that a few people were not notified of the change in location,” SNHD spokeswoman Jennifer Sizemore said in an email. “If they need any further assistance, we would be happy to work with them directly to rectify the situation.”

Strand admits her initial reaction to the vaccine effort was not the best.

“My first though was to screw it, I’m not going to get another vaccine,” she said. “But I calmed down and realized I still need to do it. It is the right thing to do and it is best for the public.”

Strand, who specializes in criminal law for Pitaro & Fumo, said she will consider going to the Las Vegas Convention Center or another drive-thru clinic, knowing that since she received her first Pfizer dose about a month ago, so she has about a month to secure a second dose.

“I’m concerned that we will never reach herd immunity if we have screw-ups like this,” she said.

Contact Marvin Clemons at mclemons@reviewjournal.com. Follow @Marv_in_Vegas on Twitter.

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