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Good reasons why Utah ranks last for percentage of fully-vaccinated adults

Posted at 4:39 PM, Mar 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-05 22:22:33-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah is 51st among states and the District of Columbia in the percentage of its population fully vaccinated, largely because vaccine doses are allocated based on risk rather than overall population.

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

That's according to data available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Data Tracker website.

Specifically, 6.1% of Utahns were fully vaccinated as of Friday's CDC updates. The closest state neighboring Utah is Idaho with 8.1% of residents fully vaccinated.

Jenny Johnson with the Utah Department of Health says the low numbers are mostly due to Utah’s young population.

“Everything is allocated from the federal government to the states based on the percentage of a state's adult population,” Johnson said.

WATCH: Utah House rejects attempt to remove statewide mask mandate

On the other side of the spectrum, Utah's population of adults 65 and older is far below the national average.

Some numbers:

  • 11 percent of Utahns are 65 or over.
  • 16 percent of Americans are 65 or over.
  • 29 percent of Utahns are younger than 18.
  • 22 percent of Americans are younger than 18.

Johnson says another measure is more fair to compare states.

“We're doing really well in getting vaccines into people's arms,” Johnson said.

READ: Should you get vaccinated if you've had COVID?

Comparing doses administered to doses received does make Utah look far better. As of the CDC's Friday numbers, Utah had administered 78% of the COVID doses received, which ranks 15th among states on the Becker Hospital Review website that monitors that statistic daily.