MURRAY, Utah (ABC4) – The state of Utah faces a daunting logistical challenge to meet Governor Spencer Cox’s stated goal of getting every willing adult in the state vaccinated by the end of May.
On Friday we learned new details of how Intermountain Healthcare will assist in that monumental effort.
Injecting a potential two million Utahns over the next three and half months is the largest medical project in the state’s history. To get that many shots in arms, the state plans to use mass-vaccination centers which they call “high-throughout sites”.
“High throughput sites are going to be huge. They’re really going to be the centerpiece of what we’re trying to accomplish,” Gov. Cox (R – Utah) said Thursday. “You’ll see them at stadiums. You’ll see them at movie theaters. You’ll see them in parking lots.”
And we’ll see them at Intermountain Healthcare facilities throughout the state.
“We’ll be adding nine high-throughputs, so places that can do a thousand vaccinations a day or more,” Intermountain Healthcare Senior Vice President and Chief Physician Executive Dr. Mark Briesacher said. “We’ll be adding nine sites across the state from Logan to St. George.”
In addition to urban areas, Dr. Briesacher says Intermountain Healthcare is planning to set up distribution sites in outlying areas of Utah.
“We’re also adding a handful of drive-through locations and these are going to be added in the more rural areas of the state,” he said. “We always keep in mind ‘How do we vaccinate everybody across the state, not just in the major population centers but all Utahns who live as well in rural settings?’ We want to make it easy for them as well, so they don’t have to drive two or three hours to get a shot.”
Right now only people 70 and older, healthcare and senior care facility workers, teachers, and first responders are eligible for the vaccine but on March 1st, that group expands to Utahns who are 65 and up or who have certain chronic medical conditions.