As the pandemic continued, our communities endured uncertainty and worked to overcome the challenges that came with new safety measures. But as 2021 began to unfold, so did a new hope–the COVID-19 vaccine.
COVID-19 vaccinations began at the UNLV Student Union site on Jan. 11. As of April 2, nearly 87,000 doses had been administered at the UNLV Medicine site in the Student Union. It has primarily served emergency response, NSHE and CCSD personnel but now is open to all adults over age 18.
What is it like when your moment finally comes? Members of our community share why they are looking forward to being fully vaccinated.
Photos by Josh Hawkins/UNLV Photo Services
First-year CSN Dental Hygiene Student
“The reason I am so excited about this vaccine is not just because it will stop this pandemic — this is way bigger than that. This vaccine is the proof that mRNA-based vaccines work. This is the demonstration for the new way we will develop vaccines.”
UNLV History Professor
"I have not seen my parents in a year. They were supposed to come in March last year, and I (usually) see them all the time. They live on the East Coast, and it has been really, really, hard and today takes me one step closer.”
UNLV Oral History Research Center Director
“Getting the vaccine, to me, meant freedom. I didn’t know how much psychological freedom that was going to bring me.”
Keith E. Whitfield
“I'm so proud of how UNLV has helped the Las Vegas community during the pandemic and the steps we've taken to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Getting vaccinated is another way we can stop this virus. It's applying science and research to help solve a public health crisis and I wanted to do my part."
Amy Bush Herzer
Head Coach, Women’s Golf
Pictured on right with golfer Aliyah Williams during a recent tournament
“This means that I can now coach my team and be close to them, feel safe around them, and know that I am not going to spread it around to them.”
“Well, it means that I won’t infect anyone else, even though I don’t go out much at all, and I feel good about it. I can protect myself from getting it. I'm looking forward to being able to see family face to face again.”
Dean of Greenspun College of Urban Affairs
“It is time to help the country to become safe and to get inoculated to save lives. It is an important time in the history of the country.”
Professor and Director of Tourism, Convention and Event Planning at CSN
“I am excited and very grateful that we have this opportunity to take the vaccine. It has been a really rough year for everybody and I am so grateful that it looks like we are going to be on the road to recovery. I truthfully was apprehensive because I read there might be side effects but much better to have the vaccination than not.”
2nd-year student at the UNLV School of Medicine
"It doesn’t change much because I am still practicing in classrooms but it means that I feel a little bit more secure going out for groceries and don’t have to be worried as much. But I will still wear my mask."
Executive Vice President and Provost
"Getting vaccinated is a major step to having our campus return to a sense of normalcy. We are excited to see the campus come back to life and are working hard to have a more traditional fall semester. This will help us get there."
The Nevada System for Higher Education (NSHE) partnered with the Office of the Governor and officials from the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health on the vaccination effort. Students, faculty, and staff from UNLV Medicine, Schools of Nursing from UNLV, College of Southern Nevada and Nevada State College, and UNLV Student Health have volunteered to be part of the effort.