HEALTH

Intermountain Healthcare doctors are optimistic about vaccination numbers, but still have concerns

Jan 22, 2021, 6:09 PM

Salt Lake County vaccine...

Local health officials say some people are going on the search for a COVID-19 vaccine, despite not meeting the state requirements. (PHOTO: Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

(PHOTO: Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

MURRAY – Despite a high number of deaths reported over the last two days, doctors with Intermountain Healthcare say there are reasons to be optimistic about the COVID-19 vaccine’s impact on the spread of the disease.  However, they say they have concerns with the discussions about what should be done with second doses.

The latest numbers from the Utah Department of Health show 2,649 new COVID-19 cases, with a rolling seven-day average of 1,860 per day.  That is much lower from the numbers we saw on January 6th, but it’s higher than the 1,073 that were reported on the 17th.  

The state is also reporting an additional 13,350 doses of vaccine were distributed Thursday, but doctors with Intermountain Healthcare say vaccines are not the only thing people should worry about.  Chief Physician, Dr. Mark Briesacher, says if people start ignoring current safety guidelines, the state will suffer for it.

“The thing that could absolutely turn that around and lead to a spike in cases, again, is if everyone relaxes and stops washing their hands and stops wearing a mask,” he says.

Other states and countries have decided to release all second doses of the vaccine to the general public instead of reserving them for people who have already received the first injection.  However, Briesacher says they have concerns with that practice.  He says the science isn’t clear on whether first doses become ineffective if someone waits too long to get the booster, although, he doesn’t believe a small delay will hurt anyone.

He says, “If it’s a couple of weeks that you’re delayed, we don’t think that’s going to have any impact.”

However, he says certain people don’t have the same level of protection they would have if they only get one dose.  Out of every 20 people who received just one injection of the Pfizer vaccine, only ten were adequately protected from the virus.

Briesacher says, “Some of them could be partially protected, and it’s not until you get that second dose that you get to a high level of protection.  Nineteen out of those 20 are protected.”

Plus, doctors in the UK decided to release the second doses, and the results don’t appear to be good.

“They still are experiencing extraordinarily high levels of hospitalizations,” according to Briesacher.

Another concern is that a more resilient version of the virus could develop if people don’t have a strong enough level of vaccination in their system.

 

  

 

Resources for more information: 

 

LOCAL: 

State of Utah:  https://coronavirus.utah.gov/ 

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 Links 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization 

Cases in the United States 

We want to hear from you.

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

Health

Liver and kidney transplant patient Luis Campos says he's grateful he had a Spanish-speaking team....

Eric Cabrera

Murray kidney clinic helping the Latino community

MURRAY, Utah — Intermountain Health has taken steps to address healthcare in Latino communities by opening Utah’s first fully Spanish-speaking Kidney Transplant Clinic. The Intermountain Clinica Hispana de Riñon (Hispanic Kidney Clinic), in Murray, aims to provide a space for members of the Latino community navigating the complex kidney transplant process. The clinic has bilingual professionals, […]

3 hours ago

utah department of health shown, the department is dealing with a medicaid related outage...

Heather Kelly

Medicaid members in Utah affected by nationwide outage

Utah Medicaid asked local pharmacies to provide a free 30-day supply to high-risk patients affected by the outage.

8 hours ago

Marijuana grows at Tryke Companies Utah's medical cannabis cultivation facility in Tooele...

Michael Camit

Ironing out Utah’s Medical Cannabis Program

Medical marijuana is one of Utah's most regulated substances, but lawmakers are still trying to iron out the wrinkles in the program.

4 days ago

North American hospitals are seeing a major increase -- 416% over the last two decades -- in teen m...

Alexandrea Bonilla

Decades-long study shows increase in eating disorders among young males

The study showed hospitalizations for young males with eating disorders were up 139%, and even higher in young teens.

4 days ago

Containers holding frozen embryos and sperm are stored in liquid nitrogen at a fertility clinic in ...

Jessica Lowell

The future of IVF in Utah following the Alabama Supreme Court embryo ruling

One expert says they won't know if Utah would interpret its wrongful death statute the same way Alabama did until a case came up .

4 days ago

Doctors analyze a screening of a colon...

Don Brinkerhoff

Younger colon cancer deaths are increasing significantly

Colon cancer deaths are rising and people are dying at a much younger age according to the American Cancer Society.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Intermountain Healthcare doctors are optimistic about vaccination numbers, but still have concerns