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Utah begins using Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Posted at 6:00 AM, Mar 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-04 08:00:12-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Beginning Thursday, some Utahns who are eligible for COVID-19 inoculations will be given the newly-approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Utah healthcare providers received their first doses of the single-shot J&J vaccine Tuesday, three days after the FDA granted emergency use authorization.

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University of Utah Health will start using the J&J vaccine at three of its clinics on March 8, and Intermountain Healthcare will start using it Thursday.

Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine is the third to be approved for use in the United States. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were both approved in December.

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“Right now, we are administering about 97 percent of all of our first doses within seven days of receiving them,” Utah Dept. Health Dir. Communications Tom Hudachko told FOX 13.

State officials hope to distribute COVID-19 vaccinations to every Utah resident who wants one by the end of April.

In the meantime, health departments are asking Utahns who are not yet eligible to be patient. The Utah County Health Department reports it has received numerous inquiries from people who want vaccinations but aren't yet eligible.

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"We are getting swamped with calls & messages from those not eligible for the vaccine wanting an appt. Although they mean well, it takes away from our efforts to help those currently eligible," UCHD said in a tweet.

Watch FOX 13 for updates.