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Utah could achieve COVID-19 herd immunity by the end of summer

Utah hits 2 million vaccine doses
Vaccine shot
Posted at 2:17 PM, Apr 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-22 19:54:04-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah has hit two million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine being administered, Governor Spencer Cox announced on Thursday.

That is a combination of first and second doses for vaccine-eligible Utahns. At his weekly news conference on the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Cox said it was welcome news.

"So many of you are getting vaccinated and the vaccines are safe and effective," he said.

More than 800,000 Utahns are now fully vaccinated. That is roughly 26% of the eligible population.

But under the "COVID-19 Endgame" law, public health orders will not start to be terminated until 1.63 million prime — or first — doses of the vaccine have been given out. As of Thursday, 1.4 million prime doses had been put in arms.

The law terminated the statewide mask mandate on April 10. But health orders won't lift unless case rates and hospitalizations are below certain thresholds (which have already been met) and the vaccine benchmark is hit. Officials with the Utah Department of Health told FOX 13 that could still be a couple of weeks away.

At a briefing before the Utah State Legislature's Administrative Rules Committee, UDOH Deputy Director Dr. Michelle Hofmann said more than 50% of the state's population has either had COVID-19 or has received at least one dose of the vaccine.

The agency projected that "herd immunity" where 70% of the state's eligible population has been vaccinated could be reached by the end of this summer.