Utah (ABC4) – As COVID-19 vaccines continue to be distributed throughout Utah and new priority group registration opens for Utahns 65 and older and those with underlying health conditions, many are wondering if they can register their family member or friend?
In early January, Utah Governor Spencer Cox announced Utah’s 70 and older would be eligible to start getting vaccinated on January 18 through their local health department.
In February, Gov. Cox announced starting March 1, eligibility will be lowered from 70 and older to 65 and older.
Because vaccine administration is being handled by local health departments, many children, grandchildren, and friends of Utahns in the current priority groups are wondering if they can register their high-risk Utahns if they live outside of the county or even the state of the person who needs to be registered.
Jenny Johnson, Public Information Officer for the Utah Department of Health tells ABC4, “Yes, you can register your friend or family member.”
Johnson says most of the local health departments even encourage it, especially if the person in need of the vaccine doesn’t have internet access or feel comfortable using the computer.
She says she feels many people are making assumptions that they cannot register their loved one “without looking to the actual source or calling our state hotline to ask their questions.”
Information is spread that is not true or only partially true, Johnson shares. “It just spreads further and further. Or they take experiences or requirements in other states and assume that is the same case here.”
Throughout Utah, as long as the person being registered is a resident and qualifies under the current COVID-19 vaccine priority groups, it does not matter who registers them.
Johnson encouraged anyone who does have questions on vaccine registration to reach out to their local health department.
Gov. Cox says it feels like Utah is in the fourth quarter of the pandemic. He says there is still a serious amount of work to be done, but there is hope.
The state is expecting a surge of COVID-19 vaccines in the coming weeks and months. “We anticipate a significant increase,” Gov. Cox adds.