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Doctors: Schedule Your Vaccine As Soon As You’re Eligible

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – If you’re eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, doctors are urging you to make an appointment and get your shot.

Doctors at University of Utah Health said the vaccination campaign is the best way to protect against another wave of the virus.

“The best vaccine is the one that’s in front of you, the one that you can get most immediately,” said Dr. Kavish Choudhary, director of pharmacy at University of Utah Health.

Doctors recently have framed Utah’s community status with COVID-19 as a race between the spread of variant strains and the vaccine campaign.

Right now, Utah’s doing well in that race, as long as residents keep rolling up their sleeves.

Europe is enduring another wave of COVID-19, while vaccinations have not ramped up as quickly as they have in the U.S.

“The problem in Europe really has been more that they haven’t been able to vaccinate people in time at all,” said Dr. Sankar Swaminathan, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at University of Utah Health.

The concern among doctors is the ability of the virus to mutate and evade the vaccines before we have enough immunity in the community.

“That has luckily not been a big problem here,” said Swaminathan, adding the vaccines available appear to protect against the variants.

“If we can get everybody vaccinated, then we should be in good shape,” he said. “At the rate we’re going, I don’t think that we’re going to have the variants outstripping our ability to immunize.”

“The way to cut the development of variants is to get vaccinated as soon as possible, because there’s no way for the COVID virus to become mutant if there’s no replication,” said Dr. Carlos Gomez, assistant professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at University of Utah Health.

If you’re eligible to get the vaccine but you’re in good health, should you let somebody else go first?

“If you get offered the vaccine, you should take it,” Gomez said.

It’s important to protect ourselves and everyone else around us, he said.

“We’re going to get quicker, faster to protecting the whole community,” Gomez said.

The rollout vaccinates those who need it most, first.

“If you get offered the vaccine, that means that there’s nobody who needs it more than you that has already been offered it,” said Swaminathan.

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