Update on Utah’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution, state expects highest single week distribution

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Utah (ABC4) – Thursday, during Utah Governor Spencer Cox’s weekly COVID-19 press conference, he provided an update on the state’s fight against COVID-19. 

For the first time, all of Utah’s 29 counties are in moderate or low on the state’s transmission index. 

Gov. Cox says this means Utahns effort to slow the spread of the virus is working. 

Utah Counties in Moderate Level of Transmission: 

  • Beaver
  • Box Elder
  • Cache
  • Carbon
  • Davis
  • Duchesne
  • Emery
  • Grand
  • Iron
  • Kane 
  • Millard
  • Morgan
  • Salt Lake
  • San Juan
  • Sanpete
  • Sevier
  • Summit
  • Tooele
  • Uintah
  • Utah
  • Wasatch
  • Washington
  • Weber

Utah Counties in Low Level of Transmission: 

  • Daggett
  • Garfield
  • Juab
  • Piute
  • Rich
  • Wayne

The Governor’s briefing can be viewed in it’s entirety below:

Gov. Cox says right now, almost every metric is going in the right direction. 

Vaccine numbers shared Thursday state 1,410,214 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. This is a daily increase of 46,011 doses since Wednesday, which is the most doses the state has administered in a single day so far.

84% of Utahns who are age 70 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine. 82% of people older than 65 have also received at least one dose, Gov. Cox shares. 

From the start of the pandemic, health officials have said vaccines are the quickest way out of the pandemic. Utah still doesn’t have enough COVID-19 vaccines for everyone, so the need to continue wearing masks in public is still encouraged. 

Utah’s local health departments are working to help vaccinate incarcerated populations, Gov. Cox shares. He also encourages students at Utah colleges and universities to get vaccinated before they head home for the Summer.

Next week, the state expects to receive 106,440 “prime vaccine doses.” The state’s highest single-week distribution yet for initial doses. 

A large portion of that, more than 40,000, will be Johnson and Johnson vaccines, which only require one shot, Gov. Cox adds. 

State Epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn says clinical trials found the vaccines prevent COVID-19 cases in up to 95% of people who receive the vaccine. 

She says no vaccine is 100% effective and some people who get vaccinated will still get COVID-19. 

When someone who is fully vaccinated, defined as two weeks after receiving your final dose, tests positive for COVID-19 we call that a “breakthrough case,” Dr. Dunn shares Thursday. 

Out of the 521,686 people who are fully vaccinated, Utah has detected just 96 breakthrough cases. This means only 0.02% of fully vaccinated people in Utah have become infected with COVID-19

During Thursday’s conference Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson announced the launch of the Lieutenant Governor’s new returnship initiative.

“The announcement includes a new executive order directing state agencies to create new returnship opportunities. Additionally, it will include information regarding the launch of a new $15 million round of grant funding as part of the state’s Learn & Work program,” as stated in a press release shared with ABC4. 

This returnship initiative is designed as a back-to-work program that provides the experience, training, skills, and mentoring that an individual needs to return to the workforce without starting from the bottom of the career ladder, Lt. Gov. Henderson shares during Thursday’s press conference. 

Lt. Gov. Hendseson and Gov. Cox will sign an executive order that directs state agencies to identify meaningful ways to provide returnship opportunities, remove the barriers that currently exist, and start providing those return to work and returnship opportunities during Thursday’s conference.

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