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Utah nears 1 million fully vaccinated Utahns, more to be done for ‘vaccine equity’

Apr 22, 2021, 10:37 AM | Updated: 12:07 pm
cox critical race theory...
Gov. Spencer Cox during a weekly COVID-19 update.

SALT LAKE CITY — With nearly one million Utahns fully vaccinated, and declining COVID-19 case counts, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox announced more than a quarter of eligible Utahns have received the vaccine Thursday. He also stated Utah is seeing a “plateau” in positive cases. 

Additionally, during his weekly COVID-19 update, Cox said “one lucky Utahn” will receive the state’s dose number 2,000,000 sometime Thursday. 

 

Cox noted 86% of Utahns 65+ have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine, and 74% are fully vaccinated. 77% of those 70+  are fully vaccinated, according to the governor. 

Two more counties, Sevier and Carbon, moved to the ‘low transmission’ phase for COVID-19. In total, 13 counties fall under the ‘low transmission’ category. Furthermore, two Utah counties backtracked in transmission. Washington County moved to ‘moderate transmission,’ and Grand County moved into the ‘high transmission’ phase for COVID-19. 

Vaccine equity for Utahns

Since March, Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson said the state has “put in a lot of effort into making sure Utah’s multicultural communities have access to the vaccine.”

She said one big goal the state has is vaccine distribution matching the demographics of the state. Henderson acknowledged there is still a lot more work to do to obliterate vaccine barriers among Utah’s diverse population.

Currently, 37% of Asian adults, 28.8% Hispanic and 19.8% of Black adults have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Utah. For perspective, 47% of white adults have at least one shot. 

Additionally, Henderson said the state is working to ensure rural communities and senior and homebound populations have access to the vaccine. She also said they are partnering with Utah’s colleges and universities to make sure students are vaccinated before the school year ends. 

And since transportation can be a hindrance for some attempting to make it to their vaccine appointment, Henderson noted the ride-share company Lyft is offering free rides to and from vaccine sites.

Coronavirus in Utah today 

Even as case counts drop in Utah, state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn is encouraging all adult Utahns to get the vaccine. 

“Now is the time to get your COVID-19 vaccine,” said Dr. Dunn. “There are many appointments open.” 

To schedule your vaccine appointment, visit coronavirus.utah.gov/vaccine-distribution/

The Utah Department of Health reported 472 new cases of COVID-19 out of 16,394 tests conducted Thursday. The rolling 7-day average for percent positivity of “people over people” is 6.0%, with an average of 386 cases per day. Dr. Dunn noted Utah’s percent positivity is down from the week prior. 

Currently, 137 Utahns are in the hospital due to COVID-19 complications. Of those hospitalizations, 51 people have been admitted into an intensive care unit. 

One more Utahn has lost their lives to the virus Thursday, bringing the state’s total COVID-19 death count to 2,178. 

Dr. Dunn continued to drive the importance of masks and social distancing, especially as coronavirus variants pop up throughout the state. 

Related:

Utah health leaders predict increase in COVID-19 cases

Vaccine side effects after COVID-19 shot are common but mostly mild

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Utah nears 1 million fully vaccinated Utahns, more to be done for ‘vaccine equity’