Lawmakers say Utah’s COVID-19 vaccine allotment is too low and instruction from federal government unclear

Jan 25, 2021, 6:22 PM
500,000 deaths...
(Utah National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Sean Conorich conducts COVID-19 rapid testing at the Fairpark in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)
(Utah National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Sean Conorich conducts COVID-19 rapid testing at the Fairpark in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah is reportedly getting much fewer doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from the federal government per capita than other states.  Elected officials say they’re trying to determine why this is happening, especially since health departments are equipped to give out many more doses than they currently are.

Currently, the state is getting 33,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine every week from the federal government.  Lieutenant Governor Deidre Henderson says the CDC determines how many doses each state will get based on population over the age of 18.  For now, she says there isn’t much Utah can do to boost than number.

“We are given what we get,” Henderson tells KSL’s Live Mic with Lee Lonsberry.  “If we could place an order, we’d get a lot more than 33,000 doses a week.  We would get as much as we could possibly use.”

Henderson believes Utah’s dose allotment will go up as vaccine production increases.  She says governors from across the country will take part in a group phone call with the Biden administration to get clarity on future vaccine rollout plans.

“Right now, it’s really a matter of supply and demand, and demand is far outstripping supply,” she says.

However, other elected officials believe Utah’s allotment should be more than what it currently is.

Representative Paul Ray tells KSL’s Dave and Dujanovic, “We’re probably, getting around 160 doses per thousand people, and the average is over 190 per thousand in other states.  We’re getting the lowest amount [out of] all the states, and we’ve got to figure out why that is.”

Ray says the communication from the federal government has been very bad since the beginning of the rollout, which is causing confusion among the states.  He wonders if those unclear instructions are one of the factors into the low dose number.  Ray says the confusion is mostly centered around second doses and whether they should be released for first-timers.

“We were being told that those were second doses for those people, but then we were being told that if you don’t use all your doses, you don’t get more doses,” Ray says.  “We were told that those needed to go into arms immediately.  Now, we’re being told, ‘We don’t know.’”

Ray says if the federal government were to increase Utah’s weekly allotment to 100,000 per week, he believes state health workers would be able to distribute them, especially since smaller facilities have asked to administer doses of the vaccine.

“I know that we have pharmacies that have put all their paperwork in, and they’re waiting for the approval.  We have medical facilities and doctor’s clinics, and so forth, that have put their paperwork in,” Ray says.


Other reading:

China pushes conspiracy theories on COVID origin, vaccines

EU pressures AstraZeneca to deliver vaccines as promised

Utah COVID-19 vaccine rollout main issue is distribution speed

Today’s Top Stories


intermountain healthcare...
Mark Jones

Name change coming to Intermountain Healthcare next year

In 2023, Intermountain Healthcare will change its name to Intermountain Health.
1 day ago
ovarian cancer...
Simone Seikaly

A new chance for a fighting chance against ovarian cancer

What may be most alarming about ovarian cancer is that the symptoms are there, but they are quiet and can be mistaken for something else.
1 day ago
Lincoln Beach pictured. Two shooting at Utah Lake happened near this beach....
Simone Seikaly

Utah County Health issues warning about harmful algal blooms

Utah County officials have detected high levels of harmful algal blooms at multiple Utah Lake marinas and beaches.
1 day ago
Intermountain milestone 1 million tests...
Mark Jones

Intermountain Healthcare purchases land near Ephraim

Intermountain Healthcare has plans to develop 35 acres of land in the Ephraim area into a new hospital.
2 days ago
At 5800 So. 1400 W. you find an irrigation canal that attracts  a lot of waterfowl, seagulls and ev...
Mark Jones

Officials warn of additional cases of avian influenza

With the fall migration of wild waterfowl, state officials are warning bird owners to be prepared for additional cases of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza or avian influenza.
2 days ago
Utah homes are recording high levels of radon gas. 
Photo credit: Laura Seitz, Deseret News...
Heather Kelly and Elizabeth Weiler

Utah homes have some of the highest levels of radon gas

New research finds that Utah homes have the 5th highest levels of radon gas when compared to the rest of the nation. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that one in 15 homes in the U.S. have dangerous levels of radon gas. Utah is at much higher risk, as the agency found one in […]
2 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
Lawmakers say Utah’s COVID-19 vaccine allotment is too low and instruction from federal government unclear