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Utah educators could get COVID-19 vaccine by mid-January

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Posted at 8:52 AM, Dec 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-17 18:20:56-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah teachers and school staffers could be offered the COVID-19 vaccine by mid-January, according to emails shared with FOX 13.

School districts and teachers unions began emailing educators on Wednesday night, preparing them to be able to be offered the vaccine. Some said their district anticipated beginning vaccination by Jan. 15.

The Jordan School District told teachers to anticipate being offered the vaccine upon return from winter break. The Salt Lake City School District said it was anticipating vaccines might be available and offered starting Jan. 8.

The Canyons School District was surveying how many employees would get the vaccine, so they knew how many doses to order. Other school districts were planning pop-up clinics to run on the weekends, so as many teachers and education staff could get it, and as quickly as possible.

Governor Gary Herbert moved teachers up on the state's priority list for who would receive the vaccine. Given a limit number of doses (at least so far), health care workers directly interacting with COVID-19 patients have been offered it first. Hospitals will then expand out to the rest of their facilities, long-term care centers, then it will be offered to essential workers, and so on.

The general public is not expected to be offered the vaccine until March at the earliest, July at the latest according to Utah Department of Health plans. Until then, health officials have repeatedly stressed wearing face coverings, physical distancing, limiting gatherings and good hygiene.