Salt Lake, Summit Counties Begin Distributing Vaccine To Newly-Eligible Residents
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Gov. Spencer Cox on Thursday announced the biggest expansion of the vaccination so far in the state.
More Utahns are becoming eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, including those ages 50 and older, those with chronic kidney disease, and those with a body mass index of 30 or higher.
For most of those residents, the sign up doesn’t start until Monday. In Salt Lake County, though, health officials are already making appointments and giving shots.
New appointments kicked off at 3 p.m. Thursday for Salt Lake County residents.
Summit County followed suit, but officials there extended the invitation to residents who are 40 and older.
An invite went out to 6,300 county residents who meet the age requirement. Film studios in the area have been temporarily converted to drive-thru mass vaccination clinics.
The county’s health department said it was able to extend the invite to a younger demographic because of the way they had pre-registered people. They collected all the data, and once so many vaccines became available, they had the capacity to inoculate people.
One woman who wouldn’t have qualified under the state’s existing eligibility guidelines got her call Thursday, and she told KSL she was given 10 minutes to get to her appointment.
“It means going back to normalcy, you know?” she said.
State epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn said the best vaccine a person can get is the first one that’s offered “regardless of the manufacturer.”
Summit County residents who have not pre-registered can start making appointments now. However, officials said it could be weeks before an appointment could be set.
“All of our lives have been impacted in one way or another,” Cox said during his weekly COVID-19 update on Thursday. “The good news, though, is that this disease is waning, that we are seeing numbers come down. That should be encouraging to all of us.”
The governor said if vaccination distribution stays steady, all Utahns will be able to receive either their first dose if they’re getting the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or their only dose if it’s the Johnson & Johnson vaccine by early April.
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