Utah hits July 4 COVID-19 vaccine goal after federal doses counted

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FILE – In this June 3, 2021, file photo, registered nurse fills syringes with Pfizer vaccines at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center, in Bellingham, Wash. The latest alarming coronavirus variant, the delta variant, is exploiting low global vaccination rates and a rush to ease pandemic restrictions, adding new urgency to the drive to get more shots in arms and slow its supercharged spread. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Utah might have missed the July 4 COVID-19 vaccination goal of having 70% of adults receive at least one dose, but not by much.

On Tuesday, just two days later, Utah Governor Spencer Cox’s office announced the milestone has been reached in the Beehive State.

It was previously reported Utah would not meet the goal by July 4 – so what changed?

According to Cox’s office, the Utah Department of Health reported 65.2% of Utahns over the age of 18 had received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

But officials say that rate does not count doses administered by the VA, Department of Defense, those in corrections facilities, or by Indian Health Services. That accounts for over 114,900 federal doses, bringing Utah’s total just shy of 1,597,000 doses.

“Utah’s population of 18+ is 2,274,774. The percentage of those 18+ with their first dose (1,596,999/2,274,774) is 70.2%!” the Governor’s office says.

While Utah’s data reflects the latest vaccination numbers, the Governor’s office says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the Beehive State has only vaccinated 64.4%. State officials say have spoken with the CDC about the discrepancies and the agency is now working to resolve them.

According to the Governor’s office, from June 21 to July 4, 36,219 first doses were administered.

“While we hit our ‘70% by July 4’ goal, we’re not out of the woods yet,” state officials add. “Unfortunately, the pandemic is not over. We’re still very concerned about the recent rise in cases and hospitalizations.”

The Governor’s office is encouraging those who have not gotten the COVID-19 vaccine to visit coronavirus.utah.gov to find a vaccine site and learn more about the doses.

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