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Gov. Cox: Honor system a necessity with next phase of Utah vaccine rollout

Gov. Cox gives a COVID-19 update. Screen grab by KSL NewsRadio via Facebook Live

SALT LAKE CITY — The state of Utah will depend on the honor system starting next week, when more people become eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Utah.

And Gov. Spencer Cox is hoping most Utahns will be honest. 

Cox: Don’t jump in line

Cox asks people not to jump in line to get the COVID-19 vaccine next week when the next phase opens. It’s supposed to be for those who are age 18 and up who have diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other immunocompromised situations.

“I’m certainly concerned and we know it’s going to happen,” he said in an interview with Utah’s Morning News on KSL NewsRadio. “I hope people won’t do that, and they can look themselves in the mirror and that they can sleep at night. All during this pandemic we’ve been forced to make choices, that are difficult choices, and this is another of those very difficult choices.”

Local health departments are preparing for large demand next week once the eligibility expands.

Vaccine distribution and the honor system 

As to the honor system, Cox says it would take too long to require doctor’s notes or medical records as proof for vaccine eligibility, and they want to get shots in Utah arms as soon as possible.

Co-morbidities put some Utahns at higher risk not just to contract COVID-19 but also to die from the illness, Cox said. 

“Because we are not requiring proof, there are no legal penalties,” he added. “Just the fact that your own conscious will weigh on you for years to come. Someone could literally die because you jumped ahead of them in line and a sicker person wasn’t able to get it.”

“I’m pleading with people, please be honest, please don’t lie about this, please don’t jump ahead in line. Your turn will come, it’s coming sooner than you think. Let’s get those who are most sick vaccinated first.”

Earlier this year, Cox said he expected all Utahns would have the opportunity to get the vaccine by late spring.

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.

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

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