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Seniors Confused About Vaccine Process For Those Over Age 70

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Anticipation and confusion has led to phones ringing off the hook at health departments across the state, as residents over age 70 prepare to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We definitely experienced a lot of excitement,” said Joshua Greer with the Bear River Health Department. 

They had people show up at their office to try and get an appointment.

“Our phone staff has been incredibly busy. We’ve had a lot of people coming through our doors asking about this,” he said.

Greer was not alone. KSL TV heard much of the same from several different health departments.

“It’s been a little wild to start out,” said Derek Siddoway with the Summit County Health Department. “(We’re) just doing the best we can to manage all the questions and calls we are receiving.”

“We are definitely busy,” said Brian Bennion, director of the Weber Morgan Health Department. 

He said the calls started pouring in after Gov. Spencer Cox announced on Friday that those over age 70 would be getting the vaccine the week of January 18. “Almost immediately, we were receiving calls, which we are glad to field.”

One word we kept hearing from health departments – “patience.”

“We need people to be patient,” said Nicholas Rupp from the Salt Lake County Health Department. “I’m asking people to be patient and know that we will get to you if you want the vaccine.”

Officials with the Utah Department of Health said they have received about 33,000 doses a week of the vaccine that has to be divided up between the 13 health departments across the state.

Each health department has been given an amount according to the size of their population.

Bennion said once they divide up doses between teacher and health care workers, they will have about 1,500 doses next week for those over age 70.

“We will have no problem filling those appointments next week,” he said.

Most health departments will be scheduling appointments Wednesday on their website. The roll out will be by appointment only.

KSL 5 TV Live

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