HEALTH

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

We want to hear from you.

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

Today’s Top Stories

Health

FILE - A doctor loads a dose of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe, Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, at ...
Aimee Cobabe

Bill banning vaccine passports heading to Utah Senate

A bill to ban vaccine passports is heading out of the Utah House and into the Utah Senate. The bill is similar to a failed bill from 2022.
2 days ago
A bill on transgender healthcare — banning transgender-related surgeries and puberty blockers for...
Eliza Pace, KSL TV and Aimee Cobabe, KSL NewsRadio

Utah Senate approves changes to transgender care bill, passes on to Gov. Cox

SB16 bans gender-confirming surgeries for minors and also places a moratorium on puberty blockers for minors.
5 days ago
Havasu Falls spills into the water pools below in Supai, Arizona, in October of 2016. Photo credit:...
Forrest Brown, CNN

Grand Canyon’s Havasu Falls to reopen to visitors after 3-year closure

 (CNN) — Havasu Falls, one of the most intriguing features of the Grand Canyon system, will be reopening to visitors after a three-year closure caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. But it’s with a catch. The reopening is scheduled for February 1; however, access will be limited initially to a certain, small group. People whose previous […]
5 days ago
White carnations representing each of the 1,746 unborn babies that were aborted in Utah in 2022 are...
Allessandra Harris and Simone Seikaly

Speeches, silence, during Pro-Life Utah memorial at the Capitol

About 100 people including Utah lawmakers and religious leaders attended the memorial on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023.
6 days ago
 A mental health clinic will reopen on Thursday after a carbon monoxide leak sent at least 17 peop...
Michael Locklear

Carbon monoxide poisoning at central Utah clinic hospitalizes 17 people

The Central Utah Counseling Center in Ephraim was evacuated a week ago after a problem with an old furnace was discovered.
7 days ago
a row of guns are pictured...
Mark Jones

KSL at Night: How do we solve gun violence?

KSL at Night hosts Taylor Morgan and Maura Carabello speak with Clark Aposhian, chairman of the Utah Shooting Sports Council about gun violence.
8 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Lawmakers say Utah’s COVID-19 vaccine allotment is too low and instruction from federal government unclear