COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Opens To All Utah Adults Ahead of Schedule
All Utah adults will be eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday.
Eligibility for all adults in Utah was supposed to open April 1, but Gov. Spencer Cox announced Thursday that everyone will be able to register a week ahead of schedule.
This new eligibility will allow anyone over the age of 18 to get vaccinated and 16 and 17-year-olds will be able to get the Pfizer vaccine.
Cox said the decision to expand access early came after talks with local health departments.
"We have next week, about 15% of our doses that are available have not been scheduled out yet," Cox said. "There is also a concern as we start to see that softening, we always want to keep demand above availability, we've mentioned this many times. This is ... the embrace the chaos a little bit. We want to make sure that there are no doses sitting on shelves."
He also said local health departments are concerned about disparities in distributing doses.
"We're also concerned about the equity piece about hard to reach populations in rural places, frontier areas of our state, and in some of our multicultural communities where we've seen lower uptake and getting those doses out," he said. "And the way to do that is that when we go into those places, we want to be able to vaccinate everyone. That's the best way to increase the equitable distribution of vaccines throughout the state."
Just because eligibility is opening up, Cox said there could be some lag in how long it takes to get shots in arms.
"This is a significant movement in timing," he said. "It also means that there will not be vaccine available for everyone in the state next week; I want to be very clear about that. It may take a few weeks for you to be able to schedule an opportunity to get vaccinated."
Vaccines registration is currently open for people with certain comorbidities and residents 50-years or older in Wasatch County and 40-years or older in Summit County.
To find more information on vaccines you can visit coronavirus.utah.gov/vaccine.