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Utah Valley Hospital Lifts Residency Requirements For COVID-19 Vaccine

LEHI, Utah – After weeks of vaccine appointments being taken minutes after they’re posted, there’s suddenly a flood of available doses in Utah County.

“It is kind of an urgent situation that we are trying to use those doses to the very best of our abilities,” said Aislynn Tolman-Hill, spokesperson for the Utah County Health Department.

The health department has asked residents to spread the word that vaccine appointments are available.

“If you know of anyone who hasn’t gotten that vaccination yet that is interested. It’s really the perfect time. It’s never been easier to get that vaccination here in Utah County,” Tolman-Hill said.

Intermountain Healthcare’s Utah Valley Hospital in Provo released about 1,900 vaccine appointments for Thursday and Friday and reports that it didn’t get the response the staff expected.

“We’re clearly seeing a difference between the supply that we have and the demand for it,” said Dr. Tyler Haberle, Intermountain Healthcare’s Associate Chief Health Information Officer.

In an attempt to fill the appointments, the hospital is allowing walk-ins and lifting the residency requirement for Thursday and Friday—welcoming Utahns 70 and older from all counties.

“The invitation’s out,” Haberle said. “There are plenty of spots and we need arms to give these vaccines to.”

Hospital officials reminded that all of the other vaccine eligibility requirements remain the same and that they’re anxious to administer the doses.

”This is the answer to everyone’s hopes and prayers and anxious waiting for resolution to this pandemic. The answer to that is here. We have it. Please come get it,” Haberle pleaded.

The availability of appointments is good news for senior citizens who have had a difficult time making appointments online or don’t have access to a computer.

The Utah County Health Department also reported that it has plenty of doses available in the coming days and week.

“We certainly have a sense that we’re getting closer to, perhaps, the end of 70-and-over population that wishes to receive their COVID-19 vaccination,” Tolman-Hill said.

Only the vaccine appointments at Utah Valley Hospital are open to all Utah residents 70 and older. Other locations still require proof of county residency.

Information on vaccine appointments can be made at utahcounty.gov, or intermountainihealthcare.org for Utah Valley Hospital.

 

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