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Utahns 16+ with co-morbidities eligible “effective immediately” for vaccine

SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Spencer Cox announced on Thursday that, “Effective immediately, Utahns who are ages 16 and up with certain co-morbidities are eligible to be vaccinated.”

Cox also announced that all eligible groups no longer need to make an appointment to receive a dose of the vaccine in their own counties. 

Information about where the vaccine is available and the list of underlying medical conditions that will become eligible for the vaccine on March 1 can be found on the state’s coronavirus website.

This announcement and hastening of the timeline came after Cox announced last week that the vaccine would become available to Utahns aged 65 and older.

“In just one week we have given a first dose of vaccine to 29% of Utahns between the ages of 65 and 69 which is just incredible news,” Cox said.

Cox stressed the need for those newly eligible for their doses of the vaccine to ensure that they meet the requirements as outlined on the state’s website. 

“Please pay special attention to this piece right now. The CDC has only approved the Pfizer vaccine for people ages 16-18, so if you are 16 or 17 and you have one of those underlying health conditions, you can make an appointment for a location with the Pfizer vaccine to get your shot.”

Cox also asked for patience in the process as not every vaccination location has the Pfizer vaccine, and many local pharmacies have not yet been able to update their eligibility requirements yet. 

The honor system

“We are using the honor system… we are going for speed over accuracy, that is a choice we had to make, which means it is possible for people to lie about whether or not they have one of these underlying health conditions. We are not going to require a doctor’s note to do this. 

“But I am pleading with you, please, please, please do not jump ahead in line. We have so many more vaccines coming and they are coming soon,” Cox said. 

Cox said these decisions were made to prioritize nad protect those with the greatest risk of severe complications or death and that jumping ahead in line would mean that someone else who is at a greater risk will not be able to get theirs. 

No appointments needed for residents in their own counties

The other major change made to Utah’s roll-out of the vaccine is that Cox said all eligible residents will no longer need to make appointments in the counties where they live.

Cox said that if you can find an appointment in another county, you can make it, but that you will have to return to that county to get your second dose.

 

This story is breaking and will be updated.

 


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronaviruses transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is 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.
  • Wear a mask.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • 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