Utahns 65 and older can now get COVID-19 vaccine, governor says

Suzanne Roskelley, left, gives Bob Olschesky, of West Valley City, a COVID-19 vaccination at the Mountain America Exposition Center in Sandy on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021.

Suzanne Roskelley, left, gives Bob Olschesky, of West Valley City, a COVID-19 vaccination at the Mountain America Exposition Center in Sandy on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021. | Laura Seitz, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Starting immediately, Utahns 65 and older can now get vaccinated against COVID-19, Gov. Spencer Cox announced Thursday. However, Utahns with specified chronic medical conditions will still have to wait until March 1.

“We have made incredible progress,” Cox told reporters during his monthly news conference on PBS-Utah, with about 62% of all Utahns 70 and older having already received at least the first of two doses of the vaccine.

The number is even higher, more than 90%, among long-term care residents 70 and older, he said.

The governor had set a March 1 date to expand vaccine eligibility, to both those 65 and older as well as Utahns of all ages with chronic medical conditions identified by the state. He said it should take until mid-to-late March before eligibility expands again, first to Utahns 60 and older, and then to those 55 and older.

Utah started vaccinating front-line hospital workers in December and has since added all health care workers, first responders, long-term care facility residents and staffs, K-12 teachers and school staffs, and Utahns 70 and older. Some local health districts have reported vaccinating more than 70% of older residents already, Cox said.

The governor also stuck to his end of May goal for the vaccine to be available to every Utah adult who wants it, even though President Joe Biden said this week nationally, that will take until the end of July. Cox said the administration tends to “underpromise and overdeliver.”

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Source:: Deseret News – Utah News

      

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