Thousands of COVID-19 vaccination appointments unused in Utah

Apr 26, 2021, 12:23 PM
utah vaccine appointments line...
Cars entering the COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the Legacy Events Center. (PHOTO: KSL Newsradio's Paul Nelson)
(PHOTO: KSL Newsradio's Paul Nelson)

SALT LAKE CITY — Thousands of COVID-19 vaccination appointments are going unused across northern Utah, according to local health officials.

Need an appointment? Go here to make one.

Vaccination appointments go unused in Utah

In Utah County alone, there are approximately 6,000 open appointments right now.

Aislynn Tolman-Hill with the county health department says it’s hard to nail down why people aren’t rushing to fill those open spots.

“Probably a little bit of hesitancy, probably a little bit of a convenience issue,” she told KSL Newsradio’s Dave & Dujanovic.

One important distinction, according to her: most people show up once they make their appointments. Rather, it’s an issue of getting more people to make that first appointment.

“For the most part, people are showing up for their appointments, which is a really great thing, but we do just continue to have openings,” she says. “Those are just for the first doses, so the second doses, that’s an entirely different story.”

Bringing the vaccine to you

One possible solution could be an effort to bring more vaccines to people in the community, rather than having them travel to a hospital or clinic. Davis County health officials say they will consider bringing a Utah “vaccination bus” to businesses for in-person appointments. It could help those companies vaccinate a large chunk of their workforce at one time. 

“We’re not doing that currently [in Utah County], however, we are certainly willing to look at any and all options to get as many people vaccinated as possible,” says Tolman-Hill.

Salt Lake County health officials advertised their unfilled vaccine appointments on Utah social media accounts over the weekend — about 2,000 still open at last check. Davis County officials say they currently have approximately 4,700 open vaccination appointments.

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Thousands of COVID-19 vaccination appointments unused in Utah