Romney calls for ‘urgent action’ on a federal vaccination plan

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Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, arrives for a closed meeting with fellow Republicans about the looming impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (ABC4 News) – As part of the phase one vaccine rollout in Utah, teachers, school staff, and first responders are expected to be receiving the vaccine during the month of January.

As the nation falls 17.3 million short of its goal to have 20 million Americans vaccinated by the start of the year, Senator Mitt Romney marked January 1st by calling out the federal government. “The rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines is a tribute to the NIH, the FDA, and to the professionals in the pharmaceutical industry,” says Romney. “But unlike the development of the vaccines, the vaccination process itself is falling behind.”

The Senator is calling on the federal government to develop a “comprehensive vaccination plan” to send to states. “We’ve sat back and assumed that somehow creating the vaccine was all we had to do. And that was simply inadequate,” said Romney.

As the Beehive state works through its phase one guidelines of vaccinating frontline workers, there’s controversy after a non-essential Intermountain Healthcare worker ‘bragged’ about getting the vaccine.

“I think when it comes to the Covid-19 vaccine, everyone needs to take their own stock and check their privilege,” said Danielle Barrani of Salt Lake County.

The hospital tells ABC4 it’s now allowed to vaccinate all of its employees “based on Utah Department of Health guidelines.”

Barrani, who has health complications from responding to the 9/11 Twin Tower attacks, also has a 17-year-old daughter, Mia, with Down Syndrome. After weeks of contacting the Centers for Disease Control, The Utah State Board of Education and Utah state lawmakers, she has yet to find out when she and Mia can receive the vaccine.

“It makes us feel like we are the collateral damage,” says Barrani.

Their family’s been in quarantine since February and March, and Mia isn’t allowed to return to school until she’s vaccinated. Back in November, the Salt Lake City School District announced students could return to in-person learning in phases this month.

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