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0000017b-652b-d50a-a3ff-f7efb02e0000KPCW's COVID-19 news coverage for Summit County and Wasatch County, Utah. 0000017b-652b-d50a-a3ff-f7efb02f0000You can also visit the Utah Department of Health, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization websites for additional information.

How Soon For Vaccine--"Light At The End Of The Tunnel"?

Utah COVID-19 Community Task Force

Summit County Board of Health members, holding their  last regular meeting for 2020, were told that the timelines are hopeful for the beginning of Covid vaccinations.  Health Director Rich Bullough said he was excited to be able to report some optimistic news for once.

Bullough told the Health Board that they can talk about seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.
He said that the numbers of vaccines being shipped aren’t as great as they hoped at first, but the doses could arrive in Utah by this week or the next.
Bullough discussed the priority groups that will be set for the vaccines.

“Those vaccines’ll be shipped to, initially, to five hospitals across Utah.   Those are the Covid Centers of Excellence for treatment for Covid patients.  So obviously their work force is in close proximity.  The initial vaccinations will be for those clinical providers.  Then there will be other clinical providers that will be vaccinated in non-Covid hospitals.  And the hospitals themselves are putting plans together for that.  Long-term care facilities, both workers and residents are a priority.  And then there are essential workers within different categories.   That includes, obviously, First Responders, law enforcement, teachers and others.  Who gets what when in these initial waves are gonna be primarily determined by how many vaccines we receive.”

He said the state will release a final priority list shortly.

Bullough said he doesn’t think it’s likely that Summit County’s front-line workers will get the vaccines this month.    He said that will probably be in mid-January.

He said citizens shouldn’t be too excited by, for instance, reports that 50 million doses of the vaccine will be available.    That means it will take care of 25 million cases, because the vaccine is given in two doses, a month apart.

Still, he said that relatively large numbers should be available by April.     By June or July, he remarked, it could actually be said that we’re coming out of the pandemic.

Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covered Summit County meetings and issues for 35 years on KPCW. He now heads the Friday Film Review team.
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