SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – The state of Utah has now distributed over a quarter of a million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to select groups, but when will average Utahns be able to get their shots?
It all depends on a number of factors, most importantly, supply.
According to the state’s Coronavirus website, through the month of February, the vaccine will only be available to healthcare workers, long-term care facility residents and staff, teachers, first responders, and residents 70 and older.
“We’re probably looking at a time frame of late February to early March before we start to branch out into new priority groups,” Tom Hudachko of the Utah Department of Health told ABC4 News Wednesday. “Which we imagine will be once again based on age, so we’ll probably be looking 65 and older and then starting to get into some younger age groups with individuals that have underlying medical conditions.”
Hudachko says that about 700,000 Utahns have one or more of those underlying medical conditions, so the Department of Health is working on a formula of age plus medical history to prioritize the next people eligible for the vaccine.
The rollout plan for March through July also includes tribal communities, racial and ethnic groups at higher risk, and eventually all Utahns as more vaccines arrive in the Beehive State.
“There’s been some good news out of the Biden Administration over the past 24 hours where they’ve placed significant additional orders with both Pfizer and Moderna,” Hudachko said. “We have indications from the Federal government as well that Johnson & Johnson and hopefully AstraZeneca may come online by the middle of April so as we start to see production ramped up and as we start to see the Federal government procure more doses of the vaccine, we’ll be able to get to individuals quicker. We’re probably looking at late Spring to early Summer before you just open it up to everyone in the entire population.”
To learn more about Utah’s vaccine rollout plan, click here