SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Before the end of the year, vaccines could begin rolling out in Utah. And public health officials share what life may be like once people are vaccinated.
The University of Utah and Intermountain Healthcare doctors said vaccinating people is an important part in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It won’t be until you know, 60 to 70 to 80 percent of the population is vaccinated and protected that we will begin to think of letting our guard down,” said Mark Supiano, a U of U Health geriatrician.
“With a highly effective vaccine, if we could get 70 to 90% of the population vaccinated, we may be able to see a reduction in terms of the spread of the disease,” said Dr. Tamara Sheffield, a medical director, and community health and prevention doctor at Intermountain Healthcare.
Supiano and Sheffield said once there’s a wide-spread vaccination it will help reduce the virus’ transmission in Utah communities, but they believe it will take some time before life goes back to a new normal.
“Just because you’ve been vaccinated, doesn’t mean that you’re able to let your guard down,” Supiano said. “You’re likely still going to be required to mask, wanna maintain physical distance.”
“I believe we really need to be looking at the risk level in each population,” Sheffield said. “There are certain countries that have essentially stopped transmission and are having less restrictions because of that. We have not done that yet in the US or here in Utah. And until we are at a very low rate, we can’t change those good, protective behaviors.”
A study done by Gallup suggests 63% of Americans are willing to get the COVID-19 vaccine. That figure is a 5% increase from an October study. And Sheffield believes there will be a higher demand once people see its effectiveness.