Two Utah counties report booked appointments with booster shots

Sep 27, 2021, 8:17 PM

UTAH COUNTY & DAVIS COUNTY, Utah — More Utahns rolled up their sleeves Monday after the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s back and forth over who should get the Pfizer vaccine booster shots and when.

Last week, the FDA and CDC ultimately decided to recommend the booster shot to those who are immunocompromised, those who are 65 and older, and those 18 and older who are at greater risk of exposure to COVID because of where they work.

“It’s nice to see that people are ready and willing to do what they need to do to protect themselves and their communities,” said Aislynn Tolman-Hill, public information officer at the Utah County Health Department.

Utah County kept one of their clinics open after demand for the vaccine dwindled in June, but Tolman-Hill said Monday was the first day in months they’ve seen appointments fill up, and they’re attributing it to booster shots.

“It’s a nice feeling to see that we’re booked,” she said.

The former Provo High School is a familiar place to many Utah County residents who have received their shots.

The Olsens were among many headed back to the vaccine clinic for round three.

“I had COVID last year and it knocked me right down,” said Doug Olsen, who falls in the 65 and older group.

He got the booster Monday, hoping to avoid another bad case of COVID.

“I got it so I wouldn’t have to say, ‘I wish I would have gotten it,'” he said.

It was an easy decision for his wife, Becky. She’s younger than 65, but has underlying health issues — including one kidney — that have made her eager to get all the protection she can.

“I don’t mess with illnesses like that,” she said. “I have family, you know, I need to be around for.”

Another county also saw appointments booked Monday.

Davis County reopened its drive-thru clinic in preparation for the increased demand for booster shots.

On Monday, appointments filled up to include 413 booster shots.

The county said you need to make an appointment to receive it or the first two doses.

The booster shot was recommended after data showed immunity waned overtime for people at high-risk for serious illness.

Those who have received the first two doses of Pfizer and Moderna, or the one-dose Johnson & Johnson shot, are already considered fully vaccinated.

Advisors for the FDA and CDC disagreed over who should be eligible to get the booster shot and when.

For now, the guidance on boosters is only for the Pfizer vaccine for the three groups mentioned.

The FDA is reviewing an application for Moderna. J&J had not submitted an application yet.

Officials with the Utah Department of Health said, right now, they don’t have a way to pull out and report booster shots. For now, they are all included in the overall vaccine count on the state website.

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Two Utah counties report booked appointments with booster shots