COVID-19 surge update
Get important information about the current COVID surge and the vaccine.
My name is Dr. Neil Gokal. I'm a family physician in southern Nevada, where I live with my family and have practiced since I completed my training. The pandemic year behind us will forever be ingrained in my soul. The trials and tribulations were greater than great, and out of them we worked together for endless days and nights to ensure that we could still triumph.
Unfortunately, for so many, last year brought unexpected rapid and painful loss. And this has not yet changed. What has changed is our ability to make a difference. I want to talk to you today about the COVID vaccine. I can tell you from the best of data and from walking through the halls of our hospitals and clinics that this is now a pandemic of the unvaccinated. For those who recover from initial infection, we continue to see them struggle with fatigue, breathing, and other symptoms for many months later, leaving them debilitated.
At some stages in your life, you had to consult with your physician. Perhaps at the birth of a child, to enter University, play on a sports team, travel and more. Each and every one of these were pivotal moments in your life, and you trusted your primary care providers with the guidance they provided you. You trusted us then, and I ask you to trust us now. That is why we are here. No one knows or has endured more with COVID than each of these physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants who continue to battle on the front lines to keep our communities safe.
When I reflect on the great losses in such a short time, I look down at the ring on my finger. It was given to me by a very dear friend and family member. Little did I know that when it was gifted, I would never see or speak to him again. When he was diagnosed with COVID, we were only able to communicate by text, except on Christmas day when we did a family video call. That was the last time we saw him. He died on the early morning of December 31 after a painful battle against COVID.
Like my family and I, there are so many who sadly share in this story only hoping, wishing that it could have been different. For so many of us, it cannot be different and indeed will never be the same. But in their memories and for our future, for you and for me, we have a choice and a chance to make things different.
Talk to your provider today about all of your COVID questions so that you can get answers and make the right decision. Do not let inaccurate information lead you astray. As a physician, son, husband, brother, and friend, the scariest thing about the vaccine is not getting it.
An important update
In light of the latest COVID surge, we’re experiencing a huge demand for COVID-19 testing, very high call volume and some temporary clinic closures. In an effort to provide the best care for all of our patients, we recommend the following:
- For shorter wait times to our call center, please try calling us Monday - Friday between 4:30 pm and 7 pm, or on the weekend. We typically have less call volume during these times.
- If you’re experiencing mild to no symptoms and need to get tested for COVID-19, please avoid Southwest Medical Urgent Cares, emergency rooms, and other “quick care”-type facilities. Instead, visit the Southern Nevada Health District website at covid.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org to find a testing site.
- If you have mild symptoms, self-isolate for at least five days, then wear a mask when around others.
- If you have been exposed to COVID and are asymptomatic, please wear a mask when around others.
- You can also schedule a 24/7 virtual visit through nowclinic.com.
- Three pediatric and OB/GYN locations are temporarliy closed through January 28, 2022: Flamingo Healthcare Center, Civic Center, and Craig. If your provider is at one of these locations and you need to see someone in January, consider scheduling an appointment at one of our other locations that are open: Tenaya Healthcare Center, Montecito, Decatur, Siena Heights, and Nellis. Pediatrics has an additional location at Eastern Healthcare Center.
Protect yourself and your community
Southwest Medical is providing COVID-19 vaccines to our patients 5 years of age and older. If you are a Southwest Medical patient or an Optum Care Network of Nevada member that qualifies, just walk in to one of the below locations. No appointment needed.
For patients between the ages of 5 to 18 years of age
No appointment is needed. Vaccine clinic locations are open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., closed for lunch from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Nellis Healthcare Center
420 N. Nellis Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89110
Decatur Healthcare Center
2600 S. Decatur Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89102
Montecito Healthcare Center
7061 Grand Montecito Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89149
For patients 18 years of age and older
No appointment is needed. Open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., closed for lunch from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
COVID-19 vaccine clinics
For any of the three COVID-19 vaccine options, along with immune-compromised vaccine or the booster shot. Walk into one of our three vaccine clinics.
Nellis Healthcare Center - Primary Care
540 N. Nellis Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89110
Primary care locations with Moderna vaccine
Walk into one of the below locations.
Eastern Healthcare Center
4475 S. Eastern Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89119
Tenaya Healthcare Center
2704 N. Tenaya Way
Las Vegas, NV 89128
Southwest Medical is now providing COVID-19 vaccines to our patients that are 18 years of age and older.OR
If you received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and have a severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination, or have other side effects that are bothering you or do not go away, do one of the following:OR
Not with Southwest Medical. If you qualify for the COVID-19 vaccine and are not a Southwest Medical patient, please visit the Southern Nevada Health District’s website on how you can schedule your appointment.OR
To get answers to your COVID-19 vaccine questions, please visit the Southern Nevada Health District's website.OR
If you accessed this page in error and are not a Southwest Medical patient or an Optum Care Network of Nevada member, please visit the Southern Nevada Health District’s website on how you can schedule your appointment.