Utah teens get vaccinated at high rates as school begins

Coronavirus Updates

OGDEN/LOGAN, Utah (ABC4) – While COVID-19 case counts go up, so do the number of vaccinations in northern Utah. Both the Bear River and Weber-Morgan Health Departments are seeing a positive trend—an increase in teen vaccinations.

“We are seeing more spread and more infection,” Weber-Morgan Health Department Epidemiology Nurse Amy Carter tells ABC4 News.

At the end of July, COVID-19 cases began steadily rising in both Weber and Morgan counties.

“We know that has the potential to continue to grow and continue to spread,” Carter explained.

That was true throughout August and it’s proving to be true in September as well.

Late last week, the department had 324 active cases among kids ages 5 to 18 with 56 schools across the two counties accounting for 144 of those cases. Even worse, from August 9 through September 9, seven percent of all new hospitalizations were people under the age of 19.

However, the health department has been seeing a positive trend throughout that same time period.

“Every vaccine counts and every person we get vaccinated counts,” Carter says.

In the two-county district, nearly 66 percent of kids ages 12 to 18 have now received at least one dose of the vaccine, and more than 52 percent are fully vaccinated.

This percentage is growing quicker than any other age group, and the Bear River Health Department is seeing similar trends in Cache, Box Elder, and Rich Counties.

“Going back to July 1, we had only about 21.3 percent of our 12 to 18-year-olds in our three counties who had completed their vaccine series. As of today, we’ve got 36.7 percent,” says Bear River Health Department Epidemiologist, Caleb Harrison. In the same age group, 48.2 percent have received at least the first dose.

Vaccination is on the rise in the district, but so are COVID-19 cases. The 0 to 9-year-old age group is now making up 10 to 13 percent of all cases. The 10 to 17-year-old age group now makes up 17 to 18 percent of all cases.

Thankfully in the last month, that resulted in only one percent of hospitalizations across the three counties regarding people under the age of 19.

“My biggest concern is one, that it impacts the kids, but two, it does translate to increased hospitalizations and deaths in the community,” Harrison explains.

Harrison and other health officials are urging parents to get their children who are over the age of 12 to get vaccinated. They also encourage sending younger children to school with a mask.

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