Utah is getting more vaccines but can the state handle the demand?

Feb 19, 2021, 5:18 PM
Utah vaccines...
The Davis County Health Department will begin administering COVID-19 vaccines to residents 70-years-old and above starting Tuesday. It comes following some early issues with getting people signed up. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

SALT LAKE CITY– Utah is expecting an uptick in vaccines, but residents are still having trouble signing up to receive their shot, and there’s a shortage of vaccine administrators. The KSL Investigators were curious about the state’s plan to iron out the kinks, so they sat down with Governor Spencer Cox to learn how Utah intends to improve its current vaccine rollout plan. 

The hard truth is administrating the vaccine to everyone who wants one is a mighty task that includes many moving parts. Many residents eligible for the vaccine experienced crashed websites, long lines, heavy hold times, and lack of appointments. Some Utahns received their doses seamlessly



Utah goes from 39th to fifth in distributing vaccines  

While Utah’s vaccine distribution had a bumpy start, improvements have been made, Cox said he is also expecting more hiccups as the immunity builder becomes more available. 

“The truth is we’re working to solve it, but we’ll probably never solve it completely,” said Cox. “At least for a long time.”

But when it comes to how Utah will improve access to the vaccine moving forward, Cox said he’ll provide local health departments with whatever they need–money, staffing, and/or technology. 

“I don’t care about the budget. I don’t care about the legislative session. I care about saving lives, keeping our hospitals open and driving down this awful disease that we’ve seen,” said Cox.

It seemed Cox’s initial response worked in some ways. Utah went from 39th to fourth in the nation for vaccine distribution to fifth. However, the help offered didn’t fix every problem as residents continue to face challenges obtaining the shots. 

Fixing the foundation 

Cox admitted to KSL Investigator Mike Headrick improvements need to happen to the state’s vaccine distribution. And with more vaccines coming into Utah, the problem is more apparent than ever. 

Residents 65 and older are already eligible to get the vaccine. Additionally, Utah is anticipating an increase of 114,000 doses per week starting March 1. 

“The infrastructure that’s in place now will not be able to handle all the new vaccines, potentially as soon as three weeks from now,” said Cox. 

In order to meet the demand, Cox said the state is expanding beyond local health departments when it comes to administering the vaccine. 

“We’re going to have some very high throughput sites that are doing thousands of these a day. Some of them will be parking lots where people can get into their car. Some of them will be stadiums and some of them will be movie theaters. Some of them will be testing sites that will be converted into vaccination sites,” said Cox.

Pharmacies throughout Utah have already begun taking appointments and vaccinating residents. The state has also created a website where everyday Utahns can volunteer to administer vaccines and help with the distribution process. 

As Utah continues to grapple with supply and demand issues regarding the vaccine, his goal still remains: everyone who wants a COVID-19 vaccine should be able to get one by May. 

Today’s Top Stories

All News

arches reservfation...
Mark Jones

Body discovered at Arches National Park is identified

Ekaterinà Yaroslavna Ksenjek, 33, of Arlington, Virginia, has been identified as the deceased person found last weekend at Arches National Park.
1 day ago
Bishop L. Todd Budge, second counselor in the Presiding Bishopric of The Church of Jesus Christ of ...
Mark Jones

Church leader speaks of caring for the earth at Why It Matters conference

Bishop L. Todd Budge, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaks on caring for the earth Wednesday at the Why it Matters conference in Orem.
1 day ago
Two Murray police cruisers are shown...
Mark Jones

Explosion inside motorhome being investigated

One person was taken to the hospital with minor burns after an explosion inside a motorhome Wednesday evening in Murray.
1 day ago
Photo of Roy Police cruiser...
Mark Jones

Breaking: 5-year-old child in critical condition after being hit by truck

A 5-year-old child was transported in critical condition to Primary Children's Hospital Wednesday evening after being hit by a truck, according to police in Roy.
1 day ago
Doctoral student Suzi Creveling talks about her work on the Utah Bionic Leg in the new University o...
Mark Jones

University of Utah researchers unveil Utah Bionic Leg

The Utah Bionic Leg, unveiled Wednesday, was developed by researchers at the University of Utah,
1 day ago
Rounds missing Box Elder County...
Mark Jones

Deputies say evidence pointing to homicide likely in case of Dylan Rounds

Deputies with the Box Elder County Sheriff's Office say evidence in the case of missing 19-year-old Dylan Rounds supports that a homicide likely took place.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
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.
Utah is getting more vaccines but can the state handle the demand?