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Every Utahn who wants COVID-19 vaccine could get one by end of April

Posted at 9:26 PM, Mar 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-02 23:38:54-05

SALT LAKE CITY — State officials are confident enough doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will be available to any Utahn who wants one by the end of next month.

“We’re expecting to have enough available doses come mid to late April,” said Joe Dougherty, a spokesperson for Utah’s COVID-19 Response. “It’s a really aggressive target that’s based on what we expect to happen.”

LINKS: Here's how to register for a COVID-19 vaccination in Utah

The state expects production of the lifesaving shot to accelerate in the coming weeks.

“There’s been a commitment from the vaccine manufacturers to ramp up the doses and get even more of them out to the states,” Dougherty said.

Polling shows about 78 percent of all Utahns want to be inoculated against COVID-19.

READ: COVID-19 vaccine appointments available for Utahns 16 and older with certain health conditions

This promising news does not mean the state is planning to lift its mask mandate anytime soon.

A spokesperson for Gov. Spencer Cox says the governor will continue to follow the advice of public health experts.

“Masks are going to be our best tool for right now,” Dougherty said. “We are in this race right now to get as many people vaccinated before we have too much spread of the variants in our state.”

Last week, the governor announced mask mandates would be lifted in areas with low transmission of the virus eight weeks after the state administers 1.6 million doses of the vaccine. As of Tuesday, 741,297 had been administered in Utah.

That could happen as soon as late June.

READ: Utah sets exit plan for mask mandates, COVID-19 restrictions

“This should be encouraging that we just have to do this for a few more months,” Dougherty said. “Make sure the people around you are safe and we are going to end this pandemic.”