Utah increases COVID-19 vaccine eligibility, those with underlying medical conditions to be vaccinated

Local News

Utah (ABC4) – Thursday, Utah Governor Spencer Cox addressed the state during his weekly coronavirus press conference. 

As of Thursday, 362,701 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered throughout the state. A week ago today, Utah’s total doses administered was 267,027, making the weekly increase of  95,674 doses.

“We are trying to be more viral than the virus,” Gov. Cox shares. 

Utah has now administered more COVID-19 doses than the number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the state. Gov. Cox says these advancements are thanks to our providers and local health departments.

Looking forward to March and April Gov. Cox says it’s looking better than he thought it would. 

Currently, Utah is seeing around 82,000 first and second doses of the vaccine each week. He says projections in March show Utah should receive around 195,000 total vaccines from both Pfizer and Moderna. 

In addition to the increase in weekly vaccines, Utah could also receive 33,000 Johnson and Johnson doses in early March. Gov. Cox says these are “projections” but hopes this is what the state can expect. 

As vaccines become more readily available, Gov. Cox says there will be “chaos” when it comes to registration for the vaccine. “We will embrace the chaos,” Gov. Cox shares.

He says the state is prepared and asks Utahns to please be patient as things develop.

In early January Gov. Cox announced Utah’s 70 and older would be eligible to start getting vaccinated on January 18. 

Thursday, Gov. Cox announced starting March 1, 2021, eligibility will be lowered from 70 and older to 65 and older. 

In addition, people over the age of 18 with one of the following underlying medical conditions will be eligible to receive their vaccines. 

See the following image provided by Gov. Cox, for medical conditions eligible for vaccinations. 

Gov. Cox says those who are eligible to be vaccinated should not call their local health departments. He says vaccine registration information will be released in the coming weeks. 

Utah’s Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson announced the federal government has also partnered with local Smith’s and Walmart locations to start vaccine distribution on February 11, 2021. 

Lt. Gov. Henderson says 29 Smith’s locations and 18 Walmart Utah locations will start making appointments for eligible Utahns. 

This is a federal partnership and stores will receive 100 (Smith’s) or 200 (Walmart) doses a week.

Specific locations will be made available later, Lt. Gov. Henderson adds. 

Both will provide websites and toll-free hotlines to help make appointments. In an effort to utilize all available doses, Lt. Gov. Henderson asks everyone who makes an appointment to keep it. 

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