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Utah enlists help of healthcare partners to increase vaccine availability as more doses arrive

Posted at 1:29 PM, Mar 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-01 15:39:23-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah will soon have more COVID-19 doses than the state's local health departments can administer in a timely manner, and the Utah Department of Health has announced a new series of partnerships to get more people vaccinated.

"We knew all along that we would eventually reach a point where we're receiving enough doses in the state that we would surpass the local health department capacity to be able to administer all of the doses and we are quickly getting to that point, so we are activating this partnership this week," said Utah Department of Health spokesman Tom Hudachko.

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Hudachko said the state is expected to receive 122,000 vaccine doses this week, and vaccine appointments can now be scheduled through Intermountain Healthcare, University of Utah Health and Nomi Health.

The FDA's recent approval of the Johnson & Johnson single-shot vaccine is helping to boost the numbers of available doses this week.

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"Each person vaccinated gets us one more step closer toward our goal of herd immunity making our communities more and more safe as time goes on," said Dr. Kristin Dascomb, Intermountain Healthcare.

Monday's announcement doesn't affect Utah's current eligibility requirements for those seeking vaccines. The vaccine is only available to hospital workers, long-term care facility workers, first responders, K-12 teachers and school staffers, Utahns 65 and older, and Utahns 16 and older with certain health conditions.

Vaccination appointments can still be scheduled through local health departments and participating pharmacies. Click here for details on vaccination scheduling.

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About 10 percent of Utah's population, based on 2018 Census data, is now considered fully vaccinated. On Monday afternoon, UDOH reported 682,536 total vaccine doses have been administered in Utah.