GOVERNMENT

Governor Cox announces changes designed to speed up vaccine rollout

Jan 8, 2021, 6:24 PM
legislative staffers get vaccine...
State leaders believe Utah may start getting enough doses to make COVID-19 vaccines available for everyone who wants one by April or May. (PHOTO: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)
(PHOTO: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – Health officials say the state’s COVID-19 infection rate has spiked, dramatically, thanks to holiday get-togethers.  Governor Cox says the state’s vaccine rollout still isn’t happening as quickly as he would like, so changes are being made.

On Friday, the Utah Department of Health announced an additional 3,793 cases of COVID-19, bringing the state’s rolling seven-day average up to 3,051, which is a major jump from last week average of 2,371.  Plus, the rolling rate of positive cases has reached 32.7%, a dramatic increase from last week’s 26.8%.

Health officials say people are feeling optimistic about the vaccine, but too many of us are letting our guards down and not doing what we can to prevent the spread of the virus.

Governor Spencer Cox says there have been nearly 90,000 doses of the COVID-19 distributed so far, which isn’t nearly as many as the state was expecting by this time.  Moving forward, local health departments will be taking the lead in the vaccine rollout.  Governor Cox says those agencies are better equipped to deal with a mass vaccination than hospitals would be.

 “They have the ability to vaccinate a minimum of 50,000 people per week, with a capacity of up to 100,000 people per week,” he says.  “We feel very confident they will easily be able to meet that 50,000 per week threshold.”

On Friday, Cox signed executive orders designed to speed up the rollout.  Some of his orders include…

  • Health officials and pharmacies partnering with the state have to give every long-term care facility resident the first dose of the vaccine by January 23rd.
  • By 7 a.m. every morning, every agency has to report how many vaccines they’ve distributed in the past 24 hours. The vaccines have to be given within the week they’re received, and agencies that don’t meet that goal will have their allocations reduced and their extra doses redistributed.
  • On Monday, January 11th, teachers will be eligible to get the vaccine, but the state is asking schools to prioritize teachers by age and comorbidities.
  • On Monday, January 18th, everyone over the age of 70 will be eligible to be vaccinated. People will have to schedule an appointment through their local health department.

 

Cox hopes that everyone in the general population will be able to get their first dose of the vaccine by April.

“We believe that by making these changes and being able to exhaust our supply of vaccine, that will make us eligible for more vaccines down the road,” Cox says.  “It’s hard to argue that we should be getting more when we’re not using the vaccine we have already received.”

President-Elect Joe Biden has announced his administration will release all COVID-19 vaccines to speed up the process.  If that happens, Cox says the state’s facilities will be ready to accept the influx of medicine.

“We will be ready.  We will be prepared for that,” he says.

 

Similar Stories:

COVID vaccine rollout underway, but not everyone plans to sign up

Teachers to begin receiving the vaccine as Utah passes 300K COVID-19 cases

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

Today’s Top Stories

Government

Utah Republicans are looking to ban transgender surgeries and other hormone-based care....
Mark Jones

Utah to receive additional $4.9 million from FEMA in response to COVID-19

FEMA has announced Utah will receive an additional $4.9 million to help with the housing costs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
2 days ago
...
Curt Gresseth

Former U.S. Attorney for Utah talks about what FBI can take off your cellphone

A legal expert joined Dave and Dujanovic to discuss how the FBI can obtain evidence of a crime from a cellphone.
2 days ago
mini-bottles Utah liquor store...
Elizabeth Weiler

“Mini-bottles” could return to Utah state liquor stores

Mini-bottles haven't been on Utah state liquor store shelves for more than two decades. A public hearing will be held on the proposal.
2 days ago
The Biden administration is preparing for the possibility of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, left, and Flor...
MJ Lee, CNN White House correspondent

Biden administration prepares for Abbott and DeSantis to send more migrants to Democratic cities

The Biden administration is readying for more migrants to be sent to Democratic cities.
2 days ago
Gov. Cox mental health...
Mark Jones

Utah National Guard to host 67th annual Governor’s Day

The 67th annual Governor's Day will be held Saturday by the Utah National Guard at Camp Williams.
3 days ago
design...
Samantha Herrera

Semifinalists for the new Utah flag design unveiled

The finalists for the new Utah state flag are on display at the Utah State Capitol, as well as in Logan and Cedar City through Oct. 5.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
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.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
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.
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?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Governor Cox announces changes designed to speed up vaccine rollout