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Effective Immediately: Utahns Ages 16+ With Certain Health Conditions Can Get Vaccine

FILE (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Gov. Spencer Cox announced that Utahns who are 16 and older who have certain underlying health conditions are now eligible to receive the vaccine.

The date was previously set for March 1.

The governor also announced that all people who are eligible to receive the vaccine are no longer required to wait for appointments in their home county. If a resident finds an available appointment outside of their county, they can schedule those appointments.

Cox noted that those residents will also have to return to the same location for the second dose.

Those with the following health conditions are now eligible for the vaccine:

  • Asplenia including splenectomy or a spleen dysfunction
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or higher (this is also called Class III or severe obesity)
  • Chronic heart disease (not hypertension) including chronic heart failure, ischaemic heart disease, and severe valve or congenital heart disease
  • Chronic liver disease including chronic hepatitis B or C, alcohol-related liver disease, primary biliary cirrhosis, or primary sclerosing cholangitis or hemochromatosis
  • Cancer diagnosed within the last 5 years that began in the blood, bone marrow, or cells in the immune system. This type of cancer is called hematologic cancer (such as leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma).
  • Cancer diagnosed within the last 1 year that didn’t begin in the blood or bone marrow. This type of cancer is called non-hematologic cancer (excluding basal and squamous cell cancer diagnoses).
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from blood, bone marrow, or organ transplant; HIV; long-term use of corticosteroids; or other medicines that weaken the immune system
  • Neurologic conditions that impair respiratory function, including cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, epilepsy, motor neuron disease, multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, Parkinson’s disease, progressive cerebellar disease, and quadriplegia or hemiplegia
  • Receiving dialysis for severe kidney disease
  • Receiving immunosuppression therapy
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Severe chronic respiratory disease (other than asthma) including severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, fibrosing lung disease, bronchiectasis, or cystic fibrosis
  • Solid organ transplant recipient
  • Stage 4 or stage 5 chronic kidney disease
  • Stroke and dementia (Alzheimer’s, vascular, or frontotemporal)
  • Uncontrolled diabetes with an A1c of 9% or higher

The state is not requiring a doctor’s note to schedule a vaccine appointment. Cox pleaded with Utahns not to lie about health conditions in order to get a vaccine before more at-risk individuals.

Appointments can be made through local health departments or through select retail pharmacies.

“We expect COVID-19 vaccines will be available starting in April for other age groups, people with underlying medical conditions not listed above, and those who live in congregate settings and are at higher risk for the virus that causes COVID-19,” according to the Utah Department of Health. “Vaccines should be available for the general public in late spring or early summer.”

 

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