RENO, Nevada (AP) – Nevada health officials are encouraged by the initial request for COVID-19 vaccination for 5 to 11 year olds and local pediatricians are reporting strong interest.

But some logistical and technical issues in the state’s planning platform have slowed the rollout of doses to county and community health clinics, they said Wednesday.

Experts also expressed concern that a recent increase in new coronavirus cases statewide could signal a similar trend last November when the pandemic began to climb to its most severe level in December 2020.

They hope the addition of the 277,000 Nevadans aged 5 to 11 to those eligible for vaccination will put the state in a better position than last year to fight the spread of the virus.

“Certainly the demand is there,” said Dr Terrence McAllister, a pediatrician from Las Vegas who joined state officials on Wednesday in a weekly update for reporters.

James English, regional COVID-19 operations manager for the Washoe County Health District, said a line had started forming outside the Reno Livestock Events Center for the first walk-in doses on Saturday for young children “well before 6:45 am, so obviously there is a demand and there are a lot of people supporting this vaccination.

“Lots of excited kids. Lots of relieved parents, ”he said.

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