HEALTH

Summit County health officials concerned by low COVID-19 vaccination rates

Aug 10, 2021, 6:39 PM
(Data from UDOH coronavirus website, showing Summit County has the highest vaccination rate.)
(Data from UDOH coronavirus website, showing Summit County has the highest vaccination rate.)

PARK CITY, Utah — In Summit County, more people have received the COVID-19 vaccination than any other county in the state. However, health officials say they’re worried about being surrounded by areas with low vaccination rates.

All while the Delta variant continues to cause big problems across the state line.

Summit County is concerned by low COVID-19 vaccination rates among other counties 

According to the latest data, over 29,000 people are fully vaccinated in Summit County, which is just over 69% of all county residents. Over 78% of people living in the county have received at least one dose. 

Summit County Health Department Director Dr. Richard Bullough said they were once the biggest COVID-19 hotspot in the state.

“We had the first case of community spread in the state of Utah, and that was a big one. We had somewhere in the ballpark of 500 contacts,” Bullough said.

However, Bullough reported people living neighboring parts of the state don’t appear to be as hungry for the COVID-19 vaccine as Summit County. Data from the Utah Department of Health shows less than 27% of people in the TriCounty Health Department boundaries are fully vaccinated, along with less than 43% in the Weber-Morgan Health Department and only 45% in Wasatch County.

Bullough said they’re very concerned about low vaccination rates in Morgan County

He explained, “In a recent survey that the state of Utah did, they ranked among the highest in vaccine hesitancy.” 

Vaccination rates are also quite low near Evanston, Wyoming. As of Monday, health officials said only 30% of people in Uinta County are fully vaccinated. Wyoming Department of Health Spokesperson Kim Deti said the Delta variant has caused infection rates to spike.

“They had been quite stable for months, really. In the last couple of weeks, we’ve been seeing a big increase in many areas of the state.  Uinta County is one of those areas,” she said.

Deti said vaccination rates could be low for several different reasons. Some people still have questions about how safe the medications are, others refuse to get it for political reasons and others just haven’t seen any real need to get one. 

However, she hopes more people will get the shots, calling them the best form of protection we have against the virus.

She concluded, “We’ve got to change. We’ve got to ‘play a little stronger defense,’ you know?”

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Summit County health officials concerned by low COVID-19 vaccination rates