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Hey, Utahns over 70: Here’s everything to know about getting your COVID-19 vaccine

Syringes containing the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine sit in a tray in a vaccination room at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

As Utah begins speeding up its COVID-19 vaccine rollout, teachers and those older than 70 years old can begin getting inoculated as soon as Monday. Teachers will be a higher priority, but older Utahns can expect to get their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as Jan. 18. 

But some counties are already beginning to register appointments to get those vaccinations scheduled. (Some counties are moving faster than others, though.) 

This comes as Gov. Spencer Cox announced Friday that local health departments will begin spearheading their own vaccination rollouts. That’s because they have the capacity to vaccinate more residents than the state health department reports, according to the governor. 

But Cox noted this population is large and may take several weeks to get everyone vaccinated. 

So, where can you go to get your vaccination if you’re older than 70? And how long do you have to wait? 

Here’s our breakdown of what we know so far: 

Q: I’m 70. When can I start to get the COVID-19 vaccine? 

A: Monday, Jan. 18.

Background: Although the target date for seniors older than 70 to get their vaccines is Jan. 18, it may take longer than that depending on where you live. 

For example, some counties have already begun scheduling appointments for this demographic to get their vaccine. Others, like Salt Lake County, are still working to vaccinate all their health care and frontline workers — so it may take a while longer before those are available. 

Q: How do I register? Do I just show up?

A: No, you’ll be required to make an appointment. 

Background: County health departments will require you make an appointment before arriving for your vaccination. This process varies from county to county. 

For example, if you head to Utah County’s COVID-19 vaccine registration page, it’s open for registration. Folks older than 70 can click ‘Make an Appointment’ to schedule their first dose. 

From there, you’ll pick a date, time and location. 

Q: What do I do after that?  

A: Show up to your appointment …  and don’t forget your ID! 

Background: Yes, they’ll be checking your ID — especially to make sure you’re over 70 years old during this phase of the vaccine rollout. 

Q: Where will I be getting the vaccine? 

A: It depends on your county. 

Background: Each county health department has vaccination locations set up in different areas. For example, Utah County will vaccinate at its health department while Davis County works inside Legacy Event Center. 

When you make an appointment, the online scheduler will notify you of where your vaccine will take place along with the address. 

This is how the rollout will work for the next few months, as it’s not clear when vaccines will be available inside doctor’s offices. 

Q: Which vaccine will I be getting? Moderna or Pfizer? 

A: Again, it depends. 

Background: Each county will administer the vaccine they have available from the federal government — meaning it’s not clear which vaccine to expect. On the bright side, both vaccines are similar in ingredients and efficacy rates. 

Listen to the full rundown on the COVID-19 vaccine from Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News: