Intermountain COVID-19 update addresses booster shot, new variant

Sep 24, 2021, 5:29 PM
utah covid-19 vaccine distribution hospitals...
Intermountain Medical Center in Murray. (PHOTO: KSL TV)

SALT LAKE CITY — Intermountain medical officials warn that Utah could face a long winter as cases of COVID-19 keep rising and as flu season gets ever closer.

At its Community COVID Update meeting on Friday, Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Brandon Webb said this year’s flu season remains unpredictable. That’s because mask and social distancing requirements have eased up and Utahns aren’t practicing the same level of hygiene as they were last year.

“The last thing we can afford is to have significant numbers of patients who are ill with influenza and the high volumes of Covid,” Webb said.

Webb noted that last year the state saw historically low rates of RSV, influenza, and other severe respiratory viruses.

An ongoing concern for health officials across the state is the number of people requiring intensive care for COVID-19.  On Friday, the Utah Department of Health said that 587 Utahns were hospitalized for COVID-19.  Of those cases, 226 were in intensive care units on Friday.

Of those with COVID-19 in Intermountain intensive care units, Webb said more than 90% are unvaccinated.

New COVID-19 variant on the horizon

Intermountain is keeping an eye on a new variant of COVID-19 called R-1. It was first identified in a long-term health care facility.

“We don’t know a lot about it yet,” Webb said. “It’s now been sequenced and we understand what some of the mutations are in that variant.”

“Each of these variants as they emerge require both sequencing and understanding of what mutations they have … at this point, we can’t say whether R-1 is more efficient in terms of transmission, and that’s key.”

Booster shots against COVID-19

This week, the CDC and the FDA came to an agreement on who should receive a third shot, or booster, of the COVID-19 vaccine. Those people include anybody over the age of 65 or those who are at high risk of severe disease.

“We’re pleased,” Dr. Webb said, “that they’ve come to a consensus.

“The recommendations that have now been finalized are that individuals who are at higher risk of having COVID or at higher risk of not responding to the vaccination should have a third dose as a booster.”

“Now for those who are generally healthy, who don’t have high risk, and who’ve been fully vaccinated, a third dose booster may not be necessary right now,” said Dr. Webb.

Simone Seikaly contributed

Read more


Today’s Top Stories


university of utah...
Mark Jones

University of Utah Health among the nation’s top 10 for 13th year in row

The 2022 Vizient Bernard A. Birnbaum, MD, Quality Leadership Award has ranked University of Utah Health in the top 10 for the 13th straight year.
19 hours ago
intermountain healthcare...
Mark Jones

Name change coming to Intermountain Healthcare next year

In 2023, Intermountain Healthcare will change its name to Intermountain Health.
3 days ago
ovarian cancer...
Simone Seikaly

A new chance for a fighting chance against ovarian cancer

What may be most alarming about ovarian cancer is that the symptoms are there, but they are quiet and can be mistaken for something else.
3 days ago
Lincoln Beach pictured. Two shooting at Utah Lake happened near this beach....
Simone Seikaly

Utah County Health issues warning about harmful algal blooms

Utah County officials have detected high levels of harmful algal blooms at multiple Utah Lake marinas and beaches.
3 days ago
Intermountain milestone 1 million tests...
Mark Jones

Intermountain Healthcare purchases land near Ephraim

Intermountain Healthcare has plans to develop 35 acres of land in the Ephraim area into a new hospital.
4 days ago
At 5800 So. 1400 W. you find an irrigation canal that attracts  a lot of waterfowl, seagulls and ev...
Mark Jones

Officials warn of additional cases of avian influenza

With the fall migration of wild waterfowl, state officials are warning bird owners to be prepared for additional cases of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza or avian influenza.
4 days 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.
Intermountain COVID-19 update addresses booster shot, new variant