High-Risk Teens May Have To Travel To Get Approved Vaccine

Feb 26, 2021, 5:51 PM | Updated: 7:40 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – As more age groups are allowed to get the vaccine in Utah, KSL has learned that local health departments in large portions of the state do not have the vaccine approved for 16- and 17-year-olds.

It’s great news that those age 16 and older with certain health conditions can get the vaccine. However, only the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is approved for those under 18 — and you might have to travel to find it.

“We recognize that the Pfizer (vaccine) is not necessarily available everywhere in the state because it does require this ultra-cold storage,” said Tom Hudachko, public information officer for the Utah Department of Health.

The Utah Department of Health is trying to spread the word that 16- and 17 year-olds eligible for the vaccine may have to search.

“So for 16- and 17-year olds who have one of those combined conditions, they’re going to have to do a little bit of leg work and find a location that has a Pfizer vaccine,” Hudachko said.

One of those places where the Pfizer vaccine is not offered by the public health department is in southwest Utah.

“Yeah, it may be pretty scarce in this part of the state right now,” said David Heaton with the Southwest Utah Public Health Department. “Pretty much the only vaccine we’re getting right now and for the foreseeable future will be Moderna, which is only approved for 18 and older. So we’re making that clarification to folks.”

The Southwest Utah Public Health Department covers five counties: Beaver, Garfield, Iron, Kane and Washington.

“We have advised some people to contact local pharmacies,” Heaton said. “We know that occasionally some hospitals and clinics will get shipments.

The good news is that Utah residents can now go to any location in the state for a vaccine.

“We’ve come to calling it vaccinations without borders,” Hudachko said.

If you do travel to a different area, that’s where you must go to get your second shot.

“Plan on making that return trip to three to four weeks to get your second dose,” Hudachko reminded people.

Heaton added, “Ask them upfront, ‘Will I be able to return here to get the second dose after 21 days for Pfizer?’”

The federal government decides the vaccine allocation but the state is monitoring any potential changes with the Pfizer vaccine in the coming weeks.

The Pfizer vaccine is only offered through five public health departments in Utah: Bear River, Davis County, Salt Lake County, Utah County and Weber/Morgan. It’s also available through certain grocery store pharmacies and by invitation only through the University of Utah Hospital.  

You find a list of those locations here.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Plan Your Vaccine

2022 FLU SHOT...
Brenda Goodman, CNN

2022 Flu vaccine appears to be a very good match, CDC says

(CNN) — This year’s flu shot appears to be “a very good match” to the circulating strains, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said at a news briefing Monday. However, she noted that flu vaccinations are lagging behind the pace of previous years. Through the end of October, CDC data showed […]
2 months ago
Elizabeth Cohen and Naomi Thomas, CNN

COVID-19 medicine for immunocompromised patients is losing effectiveness

Judy Salins considers herself a smart, empowered patient, but until this week, she had no idea that the medicine she takes to defend herself against Covid-19 isn't protecting her as well as it used to.
3 months ago
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 09: A pharmacist prepares to administer  COVID-19 vaccine booster sho...
Jed Boal

University Health recommends getting omicron booster and flu shot now

The CDC approved the COVID-19 bivalent boosters that target the most recent omicron variants on September 1. Since then, tens of thousands of Utahns have rolled up their sleeves.
4 months ago
Only 50% of Utans are vaccinated and cases are surging because of the Omicron variant BA.5. FILE PH...
Jed Boal

BA.5 variant driving new surge of Utah COVID-19 cases

President Joe Biden’s positive Covid case Thursday was a sober reminder that Utah is not done fending off COVID-19 in many communities.
7 months ago
Fauci positive for COVID-19...
CARLA K. JOHNSON AP Medical Writer

Fauci tests positive for virus, has mild COVID-19 symptoms

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the face of America's pandemic response through two White House administrations, has tested positive for the coronavirus.
8 months ago
The lawn of Timpanogos Regional Hospital was adorned with flags to honor the lives lost to COVID-19...
Ashley Moser, KSL TV

Hospital ceremony honors survivors, healthcare heroes as U.S. hits one million COVID-19 deaths

The lawn of Timpanogos Regional Hospital was adorned with flags to honor the lives lost to COVID-19, those who survived it, and the caregivers and healthcare workers who cared for the sick.
9 months ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
High-Risk Teens May Have To Travel To Get Approved Vaccine