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State Seeks Volunteers For Utah Vaccine Operation

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – More than 100,000 Utahns got either their first or second Covid vaccination this past week. If vaccination deliveries continue as expected, the state expects to open up vaccinations for all of us in the next three months. As the vaccination campaign begins to grow, the state now needs Utahns to step up and help.

Lieutenant Governor Deidre Henderson made a call to action for volunteers. Henderson and the Governor are optimistic about the acceleration of the vaccination campaign.

“It’s a monumental effort, and a huge task,” said Henderson.

As more COVID-19 vaccine flows into Utah, the state will need three to four times the capacity to deliver shots this spring, according to Governor Spencer Cox.

“We could have vaccine available for every adult in Utah, who wants one, into May,” the governor said today in his weekly briefing.

“We are officially issuing a call to action,” said Henderson. “We are announcing a statewide effort, a statewide volunteer effort for those who are willing and able to help in our vaccine operation.”

They need doctors, pharmacists, and nurses with various qualifications, respiratory therapists, dentists, and paramedics.

“We have immediate need for vaccinators, people who can give vaccines,” said Henderson.

They also need help with traffic control, data entry, and security.

“Someone on our team said it feels like we’re in the fourth quarter of the pandemic, and we’ve got a lead now for the first time,” said Cox.

 

The state is now working to add high capacity vaccination sites, like one that has been operating since early in the campaign in Davis County. But, the state will also utilize smaller sites and mobile units in neighborhoods where some residents may not be as mobile.

“When we figure out exactly what day that first big bunch of vaccines is going to come, then we will announce all of the sites that will be opening,” the governor said.

He said that we can expect to see vaccination sites at places like stadiums, movie theaters, parking lots.

“There will be all kinds of different places that you can go to get your vaccine,” Cox said.

“We need sites that can do thousands every day in order to do this logistically.”

More than 462,000 COVID-19 shots have been administered so far during the vaccination campaign – 100,000 this past week.

Nearly 90% of the state’s long-term care residents have been vaccinated. And, half of the residents 70 years old, or older, have received at least the first dose. That’s significant because 73% of Utah deaths from COVID-19 have been in that age group.

“We need you,” said Henderson. “We need you badly, and this is the bright shining light at the end of the dark tunnel.”

Anyone who wants to volunteer can go to utahresponds.org to register. But, everybody should know, volunteering to help does not change your eligibility status for the vaccine.

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