HEALTH

Health department formalizes plan for COVID-19 vaccine distribution

Oct 16, 2020, 5:41 PM
Utah department of health pictured, it just launched Healthy Places Index...
KSL NewsRadio FILE- The Utah Department of Health and Human Services just launched the Utah Healthy Places Index tool.

SALT LAKE CITY – State health officials have formally submitted their plan to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine whenever one becomes available. However, they don’t expect this process to run smoothly, at first.

Immunization specialists at the Utah Department of Health said already knew who should be getting the first doses: doctors, nurses and other hospital workers. After that, first responders like medics, firefighters and police officers will get the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Eventually, it will be available for the general public.

Where will the COVID-19 vaccine be available?

So, which hospitals would receive the first doses? Immunization Director Rich Lakin said it will go to LDS Hospital and University Hospital in Salt Lake City, Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, and Utah Valley Hospital in Provo. 

Lakin said they expect the first shipments to roll out slowly, and hospitals will need to make plans on which workers will be the first to be vaccinated.

“For example, if LDS Hospital receives enough vaccine to only vaccinate 30% of their health care personnel and staff, who are they going to vaccinate?” he said.

Many factors were considered before making this decision. Lakin said specialists had to ensure health care facilities could store the vaccine in the appropriate temperatures or it would spoil. 

Plus, they weren’t able to give them to smaller clinics since they didn’t want to send thousands of doses to facilities that wouldn’t be used. 

Even after a lot of planning, Lakin said there could still be issues with the medication. The vaccine may come out slower or faster than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts — or there could be shipping problems.

“There will be some bumps,” Lakin said. “Hopefully, they’re not too big.”

When can Utahns expect the vaccine? 

Lakin said he expects the vaccine may be ready for health care workers between mid-November and January. The best “ballpark” estimate for when it would be available for the general public is sometime in the summer. 

He said the Utah Department of Health has done large vaccination projects in the past, but nothing to this scale.

“This is going to be the largest vaccination campaign that we have ever done,” Lakin said.

Would the vaccine be safe?  Many people tell KSL they have doubts about the first doses since the testing process feels rushed. 

Lakin said the vaccine would have to go through every safety test that all other drugs have to. Plus, if it’s approved by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, Lakin said he would have full confidence in it.

“At that point, to us, that is the gold standard,” he said. “That meets the standard that the vaccine is safe and it’s time to move that vaccine out.” 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team. here.

Today’s Top Stories

Health

Baby Formula Shortagae...
Aubri Wuthrich

Shortage of baby formula continues to worry parents

While the baby formula shortage has improved since earlier this year, experts say there still isn't enough.
2 days ago
A Utah doctor says Americans should not avoid a preventative test for colon cancer, despite a recen...
Simone Seikaly

After celebrity death to colon cancer, Utah doctor weighs in on colonoscopy

Colon cancer and colonoscopies are in the news after the death of actress Kirstie Alley to colorectal cancer.
2 days ago
A woman wishing not to be identified shows her sadness after the Rescue Mission of Salt Lake ran ou...
Waverly Golden

Expert joins Inside Sources on women accessing homeless resources

Emily Darowski, Associate Director for the Utah Women and Leadership Project, discusses a recent study the project conducted on women accessing homeless resources in Utah.
3 days ago
KSL NewsRadio's Dave & Dujanovic discuss how to deal with and overcome seasonal depression....
Mark Jones

How to deal with and overcome seasonal depression

KSL NewsRadio's Dave & Dujanovic discuss how to deal with and overcome seasonal depression.
3 days ago
a small boy recieves a COVID-19 vaccine in China...
JOE McDONALD Associated Press

China eases anti-COVID measures following protests

Experts warn, however, that restrictions can’t be lifted completely until at least mid-2023 because millions of elderly people still must be vaccinated.
3 days ago
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19:  The U.S. Capitol is shown as a looming government shutdown threatens ...
Manu Raju and Phil Mattingly, CNN

Defense bill likely to include end to military Covid vaccine mandate, source says

A massive bill setting defense policy is likely to end the military Covid vaccine mandate, a source familiar with the negotiations tells CNN.
5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Health department formalizes plan for COVID-19 vaccine distribution