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Utah County Makes Changes To Improve Vaccine Scheduling, Avoid Lines

PROVO, Utah – Officials with the Utah County Health Department are promising to more closely monitor COVID-19 vaccine inventory after they ended up with hundreds of extra doses last week.

“Sometimes we get an extra dose from each vial,” said UCHD spokesperson Aislynn Tolman-Hill. “Sometimes that extra amount throughout the week, or a day, can build up.”

On Friday, the county added 500 extra appointments at its Spanish Fork vaccination facility to administer the doses of the vaccine that needed to be used that week.

“Unfortunately we did have more individuals than we really would have liked to have at one given time,” Tolman-Hill said.

The influx of appointments created long lines during bad weather. To avoid the problem in the future, health officials said they will check inventory daily to make sure they don’t end up with extra doses at the end of the week.

“We don’t want to have that situation,” Tolman-Hill said. “We don’t want our community to be in that situation so we’re doing our level best to not have that happen again.”

UCHD officials also recommended those with vaccination appointments wait in their cars until their scheduled time. Tolman-Hill said some people are showing up hours early.

“We know there’s some excitement about getting the vaccine,” she said. “If you have an appointment you will get your vaccine. Please wait in your vehicle until your time arrives.”

Another improvement being made in Utah County is both the Provo and Spanish Fork vaccination locations will now schedule second-dose appointments while the vaccine recipient is at the location receiving their first shot.

“We know it’s a hassle,” Tolman-Hill said. “We know it’s frustrating to make that first-dose appointment so we’re just taking as much frustration away as we can and actually doing that second-dose appointment for you while you’re on site.”

Woodland Hills resident Gary Measom showed up at the Provo vaccine clinic on Tuesday for his second dose and said he agreed with the change to make the final appointment automatic — which wasn’t an option when he got his first shot.

“I think that’s a really good idea to do,” Meason said. “That way they know who’s coming and when, instead of having a backlog.”

For those without internet access, Tolman-Hill said that reservations can be made over the phone by calling 801-851-4357.

“With me, it was a little different than most people because I don’t have a computer,” said Pleasant Grove resident Robert Oscarson, who stopped by the Provo location on Tuesday to make an appointment.

He was grateful to secure a first-dose spot for Wednesday.

“It’s nice to have an appointment,” he said.

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