Vaccine Eligibility Opens Up To Utahns 50+, As Wasatch County Moves To Moderate Transmission Level
All Utahns 50-years or older are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccines starting Monday.
While Summit County opened appointments for residents 40 or older, residents in the rest of the state 40-50 years old will have to wait a little longer.
Utah Gov. Spencer Cox announced new statewide eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine Thursday. Utahns 50+ along with people 16-years or older with Type 1 Diabetes or a BMI of over 30 - as well as people with chronic kidney disease can get vaccinated starting Monday.
During his weekly COVID-19 briefing, Cox said they expanded eligibility to make sure all vaccine appointments are being filled.
"This is a huge addition to eligibility, which means that it's not going to be possible for everyone in these areas to get an appointment right away," he said. "You’re going to have to be patient and have to keep checking back. It may take a couple weeks for you to be able to to schedule your appointment."
Utah received its first shipment of 23,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines this week. With three different vaccines now online, State Epidemiologist Angela Dunn said people keep asking her for advice on which one to get.
"I'm here to tell you that the best vaccine for you is the one that you can get first, regardless of the manufacturer," Dunn said. "It's so exciting. We have three effective and safe vaccines against COVID-19 right now."
Cox also announced Wasatch County is moving to the moderate level of the COVID-19 transmission index along with five other counties.
"This is really incredible progress and it means that now 2.2 million Utahns live in moderate transmission counties," Cox said. "And it's important though - this has been a little frustrating, because even legislators keep asking, “why do we have things locked down?” And the truth is we don't have things locked down much at all, in fact 99% of the economy has been open for some time."
The moderate index level means there are no restrictions on gatherings as long as people are wearing masks. At restaurants groups waiting still need to have 6-feet distance between parties.
Summit County remains in the high level of the index. To find more information on vaccines and the COVID-19 transmission index you can visit Utah's coronavirus dashboard.