‘Vaccine shopping’: Don’t go for a specific brand

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FILE – In this Thursday, March 11, 2021, file photo, a health worker loads syringes with the vaccine on the first day of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine being made available to residents at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

Utah (ABC4) – COVID-19 vaccine registration for Utahns 16 and older opened March 24, 2021.

Utah Governor Spencer Cox announced during his monthly press conference that effective March 24, everyone 16 and older in Utah will be eligible to make appointments to be vaccinated for COVID-19.

Originally, Utah’s vaccine registration was set to open on April 1, 2021.

COVID-19 vaccines will still be administered through local providers and health departments as well as through VaccineFinder, a free online service where users can search for locations that offer vaccinations by zipcode.

Jenny Johnson, Public Information Officer for the Utah Department of Health, says health officials ask Utahns trying to register for their vaccine to not “vaccine shop.”

The Utah Department of Health and Utah Governor Spencer Cox have asked Utah residents to not go vaccine shopping by trying not to “get a specific brand of vaccine,” Johnson shares.

“The best vaccine is whichever one is available to you when it’s your turn,” Johnson says. “They are all safe and effective.

Governor Cox has also stressed the importance that individuals who make appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine need to keep their appointment and get their second dose at the same provider where they received their first dose.

As a reminder, Utahns who are 16 and 17 years old and registering to get their COVID-19 doses can only receive the Pfizer vaccine.

According to Johnson, Pfizer is the only vaccine currently approved for 16 and 17-year-olds. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are the only approved for those 18 and older.

“This is because the clinical trials didn’t enroll anyone younger than 18, whereas Pfizer enrolled participants 16+,” Johnson shares.

Johnson tells ABC4 the state is hoping for approval for those 12+ to be able to be vaccinated for COVID-19 in late summer or fall.

Utah has received fewer Johnson & Johnson vaccines than anticipated and hoped due to a shortage, Johnson tells ABC4. She says the state hopes “the issues resolve this coming week.”

A year into the pandemic and for many, the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine has been a light at the end of a long tunnel.

As vaccines become more broadly available, Utah health officials are stressing the importance of getting the COVID-19 vaccine when your turn comes.

Lean how to register for your COVID-19 vaccine.

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