SALT LAKE CITY — As the federal government commits to increasing COVID-19 vaccine distribution, Utah has administered more than 267,027 doses.
Gov. Spencer Cox said Thursday that the state will receive up to 16% more doses of the Moderna vaccine from the federal government within the coming weeks. All of those doses, approximately 40,000, will go directly to residents 70 and older.
The governor fought back against the narrative that vaccine doses are being wasted.
“We did an audit and there were 95 doses that were unable to be distributed,” said Cox.
He said most of the dud doses were due to broken syringes.
“Out 395,000 doses shipped to the state, .0002% have been wasted,” said Cox, noting the margin of unusable vaccines is incredibly small.
Troubles with vaccine sites, doses in Utah
Despite voiced complaints from residents eligible to receive the vaccine, Lt. Gov. Henderson said all available doses of the vaccine have been administered in Utah.
“These are huge efforts,” said Henderson. And regardless of technical problems local health departments have faced in wake of increased demand for the vaccine, Henderson said they’ve “done an incredible job.”
Henderson also asked residents to remain patient as Utah works to get more vaccine doses.
“We have more demand than we have supply,” said Henderson.
The goal, according to Henderson, is to administer more than 143,000 doses per week once the supply is available.
Today’s case counts
On Thursday, the Utah Department of Health reported 1,761 new cases of COVID-19. The 7-day rolling average of positive cases is 1,710 per day, with an 18.26% test positivity rate.
Currently, 444 people are hospitalized due to COVID-19. And the health department reported no new deaths.
State epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn said the decrease in cases does not mean residents can dial back on masking up or other mitigation methods.
“We don’t have enough Utahns vaccinated yet for us to rely on vaccines as the only preventative measure,” said Dr. Dunn. She encouraged all Utahns to continue social distancing and wearing masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
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).
- Obtain a flu shot.
Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707
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