Salt Lake County Unveils Mobile Vaccination Centers
Jan 27, 2021, 6:30 PM | Updated: 8:53 pm
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Salt Lake County Health Department unveiled a pair of mobile health centers Wednesday that will be used to assist with COVID-19 vaccinations.
The large recreational vehicles retrofitted with medical equipment will enable the county to reach underserved populations and those with transportation challenges.
“We’re going to go out and get to people in need, I can tell you right now,” said Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson.
So far, more than 90,000 people have received the COVID-19 vaccine in Salt Lake County. With more vaccine soon to be distributed nationwide, county health leaders are preparing to ramp up vaccinations, as soon as supply allows.
”We are working hard to get as many vaccines administered on a daily basis as we can,” the mayor said. “We will see more supply coming, that’s the good news.”
With two new mobile health centers, healthcare workers can go directly to areas in the county where they are needed. They were already in use Tuesday.
“For people who need to come in and receive their vaccine, but who may not be as mobile as others,” said Wilson.
“These two new mobile health centers will help us remove some of those barriers,” said Karen Crompton, Salt Lake County director of Human Services. “This is about making it possible for us to meet people where they’re at.”
Right now, with vaccines in short supply and all of Salt Lake County’s doses allotted specifically for patients who are over 70, or fit one of the other criteria, the mobile health centers will be used in specific locations. When the availability of vaccine starts to rise, they can use the RVs to help speed up the rollout of the vaccine here in the county.
“As more doses become available, we can reach out to our underserved and diverse communities, in a more effective and efficient way,” said Gary Edwards, Salt Lake County Health Department director.
For now, they will be used in locations where eligible people have pre-registered for vaccines.
“These mobile units will fill in the gaps,” Wilson said.
As more vaccine becomes available, and more residents become eligible, they can use these buses to set up vaccination clinics just about anywhere.
“We can get the tables out and set up a vaccine area. We can use it as a drive up. But we can also use it as a walk-in,” said Lee Cherie Booth, Salt Lake County Health Department nurse.
The mobile health centers cost approximately $250,000 each. Salt Lake County paid for them with money provided through the federal CARES Act.