Utah health dept. ready to administer third vaccine dose after CDC approval

Aug 13, 2021, 4:57 PM
vaccine appointments...
Smith’s pharmacist Mark Welch prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine during a vaccination event at a church in Salt Lake City on Saturday, March 20, 2021. (Photo courtesy: Deseret News)
(Photo courtesy: Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah is ready to administer a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to people with compromised immune systems, according to the Utah Department of Health. 

After the CDC and FDA approved a third dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine for those who are immunocompromised, the state health department said people could be rolling up their sleeves for the shot very soon. 

“I think we could be ready tomorrow,” said Dr. Leisha Nolen, Utah state epidemiologist. 

However, the agency is waiting on a final list of qualifying conditions before giving third doses a widespread green light. Regardless of that list, there is an abundance of available vaccines in Utah. 

“We have over 300,000 doses of vaccine here and ready to go,” explained Dr. Nolan. “We looked at our estimate of those who would fall into those immunocompromised conditions, and we have plenty of doses to give them all third dose of the vaccine.” 

She says people with compromised immune systems should see their primary care physician to determine if their condition warrants a third dose. If their doctor cannot administer the shot in their office, a patient can likely drive a few short miles to the nearest pharmacy to roll up their sleeve. 

Do the rest of us need a third dose? 

Some might wonder why only those with problematic immune systems will get the third dose. Dr. Nolen says it’s pretty simple: the rest of us don’t need it yet. 

“Most all of us in the community, two doses was good. Our body ramped up, we made antibodies. Our body knows now how to fight off the virus,” Dr. Nolen. 

A third dose might be necessary for the future. Dr. Nolen says the purpose of a booster is to fill in the gap as our body’s immune response to a virus wanes over time. 

Read more:

Today’s Top Stories

COVID-19: Vaccine Watch

school masks...
Paul Nelson

SLC students appear to keep masks on, despite mandate being rescinded

Students in Salt Lake City continued to wear masks Monday, despite a mask mandate no longer in effect.
2 days ago
Utah COVID-19...
Paul Nelson

UDOH is changing prioritization process for COVID-19 symptom treatments

The Utah Department of Health is making big changes to determine who first gets certain treatments for COVID-19 symptoms.
5 days ago
mask mandates in utah...
Curt Gresseth

“Not unexpected” said Dr. Dunn after mask mandates in Utah shot down

Exec. director at Salt Lake County Health, Dr. Angela Dunn discusses repealing mask mandates in Utah and the importance of face masks in public.
6 days ago
Utah schools remote...
Simone Seikaly

Which Utah schools are remote and which schools are in person?

These are the schools that have moved to remote learning in the Alpine, Weber, Davis, Salt Lake City, and Tooele school districts in northern Utah.
6 days ago
salt lake city mask exemption...
Kate Davis, Aimee Cobabe

BREAKING: dozens of students in the Salt Lake City district received a mask exemption

The Salt Lake City School District reported the number of students in each school who received a mask mandate exemption. 
8 days ago
Weber High School...
Eliza Craig

Weber High School surpasses COVID-19 case threshold, moves online

On Tuesday, Weber High School confirmed 46 positive COVID-19 cases, surpassing its threshold for in-person learning.
8 days ago
Utah health dept. ready to administer third vaccine dose after CDC approval