COVID-19: VACCINE WATCH

We know who gets the vaccine first — but who gets it next?

Nov 30, 2020, 6:15 PM
Thanksgiving surge...
Local doctors say COVID-19 vaccines may utilize some new technologies, but overall, they're looking to achieve the same end goal of any other immunization. (IMAGE: KSL Newsradio)
(IMAGE: KSL Newsradio)

SALT LAKE CITY — With multiple companies racing to get a COVID-19 vaccine on the market before the end of the year, most of us know health care workers will be first in line to receive it — but who gets it next? 

It turns out, state health officials are already working out those details, though it remains unclear who will be next in line for the vaccine. 

Part of the uncertainty stems from the need: a number of groups believe they should be next to get the COVID-19 vaccine after frontline health care workers. For example, Utah Education Association President Heidi Matthews believes teachers have a strong case. 

“All of the adults who are working to uphold our schools should be among the first to have that option of receiving the vaccine,” she said. “I think what we need to prioritize is the essential work that happens in our community, and what is going to have the most impact for everyone.”

In other words, if teachers get sick, schools will not be able to stay open, which then affects parents’ ability to hold down their own jobs. 

Currently, teachers fall into “Phase 2” of the vaccine roll-out plan in Utah, which would likely run from March to June or July. A third phase, which would cover the rest of Utahns, may not start before July.

First responders next?

Police officers exposed to COVID-19 are dying on the job. As of Sept. 2, on-the-job coronavirus infections were responsible for a least 100 officer deaths, which is more than gun violence, car accidents and all other causes combined, according to the Officer Down group.

Brent Jex, president of the Utah Fraternal Order of Police, says first responders  may be reluctant to be the next group vaccinated after frontline health care workers because of the nature of their personalities (Type A) and their jobs — putting themselves in harm’s way.

Jex said there have been no COVID-related law enforcement deaths in Utah.

Jex said of all police officers, patrol officers should be the first to be vaccinated because they are first on scene and therefore the most vulnerable. 

“I would say that if you were assigned to a patrol division, then you should be higher on the priority list than if you’re — definitely — if you’re an administrator or if you’re in investigations or if you’re not having that frequent contact with the public,” he said.

Older Americans next?

Trevor Zuzula, a registered nurse and the director of nursing with Everest Home Health and Hospice, said the lives of seniors are being impacted the most severely by coronavirus. He said the numbers tell the story.

He said people 65 and older represent 45% of the general population in the United States and, therefore, nearly half of all hospitalizations due to COVID-19. 

He added that for patients age 64 and older admitted to hospitals, the mortality rate is almost 80%.

“How is that acceptable by any means?” he said.

Zuzula said there will be side effects from any available coronavirus vaccine because different medications affect different populations of people in different ways.

 

 


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

Today’s Top Stories

COVID-19: Vaccine Watch

A sign reading "immunizations" hangs over a desk. COVID-19 vaccines Utah...
Samantha Herrera

Where to find a COVID-19 vaccine provider for children 5 and under in Utah

COVID-19 vaccines are now available for children as young as 6 months old, but where can you find a vaccine provider for your child in Utah?
7 days ago
A child is comforted after getting his COVID-19 vaccine....
Samantha Herrera

More COVID-19 vaccines ordered in Utah for children as young as 6 months

32,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines for children 6 months and older have been ordered by the Utah Department of Health and Human Services.
8 days ago
This combination of 2022 and 2020 file  photos shows logos for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control...
LAURAN NEERGAARD AP Medical Writer

Marathon US hearings to decide fate of COVID shots for tots

On Wednesday, both Moderna and Pfizer will argue their case. Each company aims to offer a different dose and number of shots.
20 days ago
FILE - A vial of the Phase 3 Novavax coronavirus vaccine is seen ready for use in the trial at St. ...
LOLITA C. BALDOR Associated Press

New vaccine may be option for troops with religious concerns

At least 175 active duty and reserve service members have received the Novavax vaccine. Some have traveled overseas at their own expense to get it.
21 days ago
utah student achievement COVID-19...
Simone Seikaly

Utah student performance knocked down during COVID-19 restrictions

A review of multiple Utah student performance exams found "significant impacts" in mathematics achievement across grades.
28 days ago
COVID-19 vaccine...
KEVIN McGILL

Opponents of federal vaccine mandate seek rehearing

Mr. Biden issued an order Sept. 9 that more than 3.5 million federal executive branch workers undergo vaccination, with no option to get regularly tested.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
We know who gets the vaccine first — but who gets it next?