SALT LAKE CITY — Utah's Department of Health is now reporting how many people have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The agency announced on Thursday it would begin reporting numbers as hospitals give them. As of Friday, 1,347 frontline health care workers have been given the vaccine across the state, with the majority of them being in Salt Lake County.
Under the state's vaccine protocols, health care workers who directly deal with COVID-19 patients are offered it first. Then it expands to other parts of the hospitals and health care systems. First responders, teachers, long-term care facilities and others will be offered it after that. Then, essential workers and ultimately, the general public.
The timeline is both expanding and contracting. Teachers have been told to anticipate the vaccine in January. The general public could receive it any time from March to July. Dr. Angela Dunn, the state epidemiologist, said surveys conducted by UDOH indicated 70% of Utahns wanted to get the vaccine, a great number for herd immunity.
On Friday, UDOH reported that it had been told to expect only 16,575 doses instead of the 23,400 they were planning for next week. The agency said it did not know why it was getting fewer doses, but Governor-elect Spencer Cox said in a post on Twitter that some vials Utah received had extra doses in them — 20% more.
Some more good news today on the vaccine front. Our hospitals have confirmed that they are able to get 6 doses from the 5-dose vials that have been shipped...a 20% increase right out of the gate!— Spencer Cox (@SpencerJCox) December 18, 2020