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How does Utah’s vaccination goal compare to Biden’s?

WILMINGTON, DELAWARE - JANUARY 11: President-elect Joe Biden receives the second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination from Chief Nurse Executive Ric Cuming at ChristianaCare Christiana Hospital on January 11, 2021 in Newark, Delaware. Biden received the second dose of the coronavirus vaccine three weeks after his first dose, received a few days before Christmas. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

As he took office, President Joe Biden set the goal of vaccinating 100-million Americans for COVID-19 in the first 100 days of his administration.  But Utah’s public health officials haven’t tied themselves to a specific vaccination goal.

Utah has one percent of the U.S. population — could we admionister a million vaccinations by the end of April? The president acknowledged that might be tough.

“Right now,” Biden said shortly before his inauguration, “we’re hearing that they [the states] can’t plan because they don’t know how much supply of vaccines they can expect in what time frame.” Still, the president re-stated the goal this week and said we might even exceed it.

Utah’s vaccination goal isn’t a number

But Utah’s only been getting about 33,000 doses a week. So Utah Lt. Governor Diedre Henderson says we need to make the best use of what we have.

“Well, the goal is to make sure that we completely, 100 percent, exhaust our weekly supply of vaccine,” Henderson told KSL Newsradio during an interview. “So we’ve been working to make sure that happens and we’ve been finding out what the needs of our local health departments are in order to make that happen, because we’ve been going through them to get these shots in arms.”

Henderson has visited all 18 local health departments in the state, looking at whether they need money, IT support for their websites or other assistance. And she’s optimistic Utah will eventually get more doses as Pfizer and Moderna ramp up their production and other manufacturers get vaccines approved.

“We will get them in arms as soon as possible. In the meantime, we’re working to make sure we’re prepared for when that happens,” Henderson said.

Early glitches overcome

Local health departments in Utah have overcome some of their early problems with crashing websites and logistics encountered as the mass vaccination effort began. State Representative Ray Ward shared some optimism in an online meeting with his constituents in Davis County last weekend.

“And I know there are still many frustrations because there are not enough doses right now, but as far as the speed of getting the vaccine out, I think things have gotten much better, Ward said.

So the state of Utah isn’t pinning its hopes on a number because it doesn’t control the doses shipped to the state each week. Instead, the pledge is to use every dose we’ve got as soon as we get it.

How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus spreads person to person, similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Wear a mask to protect yourself and others per CDC recommendations.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet).
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities).
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A 

Utah’s Coronavirus Information 

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States