PLAN YOUR VACCINE

Utah Doctors Urge Eligible Students To Get Vaccinated Before School Returns

Jul 16, 2021, 5:39 PM | Updated: 10:24 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — One month before children return to school, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise in Utah and across the country. Pediatricians from University of Utah Health and Intermountain Healthcare urged parents to get eligible children vaccinated, if they haven’t already.

More than a third of those students are ahead of the curve. 

Utah children in most of our school districts return to school in five weeks. Top pediatricians urged eligible students to get the first shot now because it takes five weeks to become fully vaccinated. 

“We’re seeing a very significant surge in disease,” said Dr. Andy Pavia, chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at U of U Health and director of Hospital Epidemiology at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital. 

Pavia said now is the time to get your children vaccinated.

“The picture this fall is going to be very different than we thought it might be when things were looking better and there’s going to be a lot of concerns about transmission in school,” Pavia said. 

Nearly half of Utah’s counties are rated “high transmission” for COVID-19, the most since early March. 

Everybody in Utah 12+ is eligible for vaccination.

Pediatricians encouraged parents who are hesitant to talk with their family physicians. 

“They do tend to trust their primary care physicians, so I would encourage you to go out and make appointments, or talk during your well-child exams about not only vaccinating your children but yourselves,” said Dr. Tim Duffy, pediatrician and associate medical director for Intermountain Healthcare’s Pediatric Service Line. 

So far, 38% of Utah children 12 to 18 have had their first dose, which puts Utah ahead of most states.

“That shows the enthusiasm that many parents have had for protecting their kids,” said Pavia. “But 38% is not nearly enough. We have a long way to go.” 

For children under 12, the Food and Drug Administration said vaccinations may not come until mid-winter.

With the recent surge in cases, these pediatricians said they would like to see children under 12 wear masks when they are indoors for their own protection and those around them. 

“It’s really concerning,” said Duffy. “I think especially when we have a vulnerable population under 12 that cannot be vaccinated. I personally would like to see kids wearing masks in school, especially in that age group.” 

The Utah Legislature banned face mask requirements in schools. Schools and teachers can still encourage students to wear masks, but they cannot mandate it. Masks can still be required by schools in collaboration with local health departments during outbreaks. 

“More of the cases that are being diagnosed around Utah are in people 15 to 45,” said Pavia. “More of the hospitalizations are occurring in that age group, so there’s a lot of benefit to getting vaccinated.” 

Pavia said one of the big myths about COVID-19 is that it’s no big deal for children. There have been more than 1,000 hospitalizations and several deaths in Utah among children during the pandemic. He said it’s not benign when children catch COVID-19.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Plan Your Vaccine

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.
7 days 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.
2 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.
4 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.
5 months ago
FILE (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)...
Jed Boal, KSL TV

Utah moves into ‘steady state’ of pandemic, many testing options are going away

Several major changes are coming for COVID-19 testing in Utah starting Friday, April 1. 
6 months ago
FILE PHOTO (Photo by Dan Kitwood - WPA Pool/Getty Images)...
ZEKE MILLER Associated Press

AP source: Pfizer seeking OK for 4th COVID dose for seniors

WASHINGTON (AP) — Drugmaker Pfizer is expected to request authorization this week for an additional COVID-19 booster dose for seniors, according to a person familiar with the matter. It would add a fourth dose to the regimen — currently, a primary series of two shots, followed months later by a booster dose — in an […]
7 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
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: Ask these questions 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.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
Utah Doctors Urge Eligible Students To Get Vaccinated Before School Returns