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Intermountain offers encouraging news on COVID, urges more vaccinations

Posted at 12:58 PM, May 21, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY — With COVID-19 cases steadily decreasing and mask mandates lifted, what can be expected moving forward in Utah?

Currently at least 44% of Utahns have had at least one shot of a vaccine, but combined with people who have already have COVID-19, the herd immunity number is over 50 percent, and that's "very good news" according to Dr. Brandon Webb of Intermountain Healthcare.

But Webb said he hopes Utah reaches the 70% mark that the White House set as a goal for the nation by the July 4.

Dr. Webb also said these numbers mean that variants, most commonly from the UK, which constitutes 60 of cases in Utah, will be much less easily transmitted.

Recent studies have shown that the risk of contacting COVID-19 after becoming fully vaccinated is extremely low: 0.5%, with the possibility of shredding the virus four times less than those who are unvaccinated.

Dr. Webb also emphasized that the vaccines contain no live viruses, so contracting COVID-19 from the vaccinations themselves is impossible.

There was also good news for people who are still unsure of whether to receive the vaccine at a clinic; soon, they will be able to receive it from their own doctor.

Pediatricians will also be able to give vaccines soon, making it easier for parents to have their children vaccinated in a familiar and comfortable setting for both the parent and child.

But there were words of caution on wearing masks--those with compromised immune systems, or who have not received a vaccine (or are not yet fully immune) should still wear them to avoid transmission.