People receive a COVID-19 vaccine at the Martin Luther King Senior Center in North Las Vegas on Feb. 10. (Photo: John Locher/AP)
LAS VEGAS — Nevada health officials reported Monday that about 1 in 6 people statewide has received at least a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine since shots became available in mid-December.
"I do think progress is starting to finally click and continue to increase," said James English, COVID-19 response operations chief in Washoe County, where state statistics show 16.8% of residents have received their first shot and 9.8% have been fully vaccinated.
In Clark County, home to Las Vegas, the first-dose figure was about 16.2%, with the Las Vegas area nearing 200,000 people fully vaccinated — or almost 8.5% of the area population, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.
Statewide, the number of first-doses was nearly 16.5%, and full vaccinations almost 9%.
English told reporters he expected vaccinations to "ramp up" during the next couple of weeks.
On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said fully vaccinated Americans can gather with other vaccinated people indoors without wearing a mask or social distancing.
The CDC is still recommending that fully vaccinated people wear well-fitted masks, avoid large gatherings and physically distance from others in public.
Nationally, the CDC reports 18.1% of the U.S. population has received at least one vaccine dose and 9.4% has gotten two. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are administered in two shots spaced several weeks apart. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine produced by Janssen requires one dose.
Washoe County health officials said they have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and plan to begin administering it for the first time this week. Some area pharmacies and other providers in Reno and Sparks received the single-shot vaccine last week.
A first shipment of about 15,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses also arrived in Las Vegas last week.
Statewide, officials on Monday reported 203 new coronavirus cases and three more deaths, bringing those numbers to 296,393 cases and 5,040 deaths.
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak last week marked the one-year anniversary of the first case of coronavirus reported in the state. The first death was reported on March 16, 2020.
Caleb Cage, state COVID-19 response chief, said Monday the state's coronavirus positivity rate has dropped to 6.5%. The rate tracks the percentage of people tested for COVID-19 who are found to be infected. It is based on a 14-day rolling average with a seven-day lag. The World Health Organization goal is 5%.
Sonner reported from Reno.