Vaccination rate rises among Utahns as health officials make shot more accessible
DRAPER, Utah — Efforts to offer easy access to the COVID-19 vaccine remain a top priority for local medical professionals as the Delta variant, combined with the return to class for universities and the anticipation of a more aggressive flu season, are quickly approaching across the state.
On Tuesday, the Salt Lake County Health Department partnered with MountainStar Healthcare to provide a free mobile COVID-19 clinic at Lone Peak Hospital.
In all, 62 Utahns were vaccinated at the clinic.
While dozens more Utahns received their shot, officials with the Utah Department of Health also announced on Tuesday that nine more Utahns have died due to COVID-19 and 1,140 residents have tested positive for the virus.
Currently, 438 Utahns are hospitalized due to the virus and the ICUs at Utah’s 16 referral center hospitals were 84.3% full, just below the state’s “functionally full” threshold of 85%.
Dr. Julie Fox, chief medical officer for Lone Peak Hospital and an Emergency Room physician, said if people were hesitant to get the COVID-19 vaccine before, Monday’s announcement of Pfizer’s full FDA approval should be more reason for Utahns to take the leap and roll up their sleeves.
“I hope that everyone who can gets vaccinated,” she said. “Winter is coming and winter is always busier for us. The beds get full and it’s harder to take care of people when the hospital’s full.”
One Utah woman told KSL-TV the decision she made to get vaccinated wasn’t easy, but she’s hopeful she made the right one.
Stacey, who did not want to publicize her last name, said she works in the hospitality industry and understands that she interacts with a lot of people and that getting vaccinated was probably a good decision.
“I just decided to go for it and hope that it’s all going to be good and it will help everyone,” she said.
The Salt Lake County Health Department will continue its tour, offering these free vaccination clinics.
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