Utah has now administered more COVID-19 vaccine doses than the number of people who tested positive for COVID-19 in the state. Looking forward to March and April, Gov. Cox says it’s looking better than he thought it would.
In early January, Gov. Cox announced Utah’s 70 and older would be eligible to start getting vaccinated on January 18.
Starting March 1, eligibility will be expanded by lowering the age from 70 to 65 and including those 18 and older with underlying medical conditions.
David Heaton, Public Information Officer for the Southwest Utah Public Health Department tells ABC4 their department hopes to open up COVID-19 vaccine appointment registrations for the upcoming priority groups on Monday, March 1 at 9 a.m.
The Southwest Utah Public Health Department serves five counties in Southern Utah. Heaton says the largest being Washington, then Iron, and three rural counties, Kane, Beaver, and Garfield.
He says the health department will unlock vaccine registration on the website and phone lines at the same time, both will remain open until appointments are filled. He says the appointments are expected to fill up fast and for residents to watch for more availability in the coming weeks as they receive more vaccine doses.
Next to Salt Lake County, Heaton says Washington County has the highest population of 65 and older residents. He warns residents of long wait times on the phone and encourages anyone who does have internet access to make their appointments online.
During the first vaccine allocations for Southwest residents 70 and older, the department experienced “frustrating” system crashes, Heaton shares. He says the department has changed systems and hopes this will not be the case for the next priority groups. He asks residents to be patient and know the department has a “plan to vaccinate everyone who wants to get it over time.”
For those with underlying health conditions, the Southwest Utah Public Health Department will be following the governor’s guidelines on not requiring a doctor’s note or proof of medical history. They will go off the “honor system,” Heaton tells ABC4.
See Gov. Cox’s list of approved underlying health condition below:
Updated registration information will be shared on the Southwest Utah Public Health Department website.