ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4) – Data from the Utah Department of Health shows 96,937 people have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 88,855 of those individuals are fully vaccinated in Southwest Utah.

“About 38-39% have at least one dose, 35% of those in our district have been fully vaccinated. We’d like to see that number go higher,” says David Heaton of the Southwest Public Health Department.

Data shows while some are getting their first dose, they aren’t following through with their next round of the shot. Southwestern Utah also has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the state, compared to other regions.

“We live in a region where, even before COVID-19 pandemic, we have certain groups of people who are vaccine hesitant or perhaps they’re anti-vaccine, they’ve gotten some questionable information before and so that’s a hard sell to get people who are already anti-vaccine to try a new vaccine,” says Heaton.

Heaton says the demand for the COVID-19 vaccine is low, despite case counts rising again.

“Most of our most vulnerable population, our senior citizens, most of them have been fully vaccinated, but we still have a lot of room for those eligible to get vaccinated in our district,” he says.

Heaton says hospitalizations have gone up, with 40 people being admitted Tuesday due to COVID-19.

“And we do anticipate, we would not be surprised if we see a surge in COVID-19 activity in a couple of months as fall arrives as cold and flu season come around and COVID-19 will likely be a part of that,” he says.

Heaton says it’s easier to get vaccinated than ever before and appointments are no longer needed.

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