Utah (ABC4 News) — The Utah Department of Health announced they have officially placed the first order for COVID-19 vaccines.
According to Utah.gov, the goal is to make it easy for everyone to get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as large quantities are available. Health officials say there will be a limited supply at first with more to follow in the coming months.
The Utah Department of Health placed the first order for the Pfizer vaccine Thursday, Dec. 4. The doses are expected to ship directly to Utah hospitals as soon as the FDA formally approves the vaccine, estimated to be around Dec. 15.
Officials with the Utah Department of Health tell ABC4 that Thursday’s order has been on the schedule for some time. The option to order the vaccine was made available to states Thursday.
Other vaccines will be made available to order in the near future, health officials add.
The limited amount of vaccines means policymakers must develop plans to make sure those who are at the highest-risk get the vaccine first.
Healthcare personnel who work in high-risk environments from the state’s five hospitals providing care to the highest number of COVID-19 patients are expected to receive the vaccines first.
The five hospitals are listed below:
- Dixie Regional Medical Center
- Intermountain Medical Center
- LDS Hospital
- University of Utah Hospital
- Utah Valley Regional Medical Center
As vaccines become available, state health officials reccomend anyone 18 years of age and older receive a vaccine.
The Utah Department of Health organized a workgroup made up of health professionals throughout the state to develop recommendations for how to prioritize vaccination groups.
Final recommendations for Utah’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan will be based on current information about COVID-19 vaccines, state and local data, vaccine storage capability of facilities, and guidance from the CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
Thursday, during Utah Gov. Gary Herbert’s weekly coronavirus press conference he shared he believes we are on the verge of a breakthrough. If the vaccine plans go well he hopes Utah will be on the road to recovery by springtime.