Health Department Urges More Vaccinations Ahead of Fall School Semester
Vaccination rates in Wasatch County have slowed since May, and officials hope those numbers will rise again as the back-to-school season approaches.
As of today, there are 74 known active COVID-19 cases in the county.
Spokesperson Chris Smoot of the county health department said while the vaccine campaign has done well, he hopes more progress will be made before school starts.
“It’s gone pretty well, but it has slowed down, for sure,” he said.
In Wasatch County, 14,792 people are considered fully vaccinated, and 1,389 have received one dose out of the necessary two, according to data from the county health department today.
As of June 1, 13,205 were fully vaccinated then.
That means about 45 percent of the Wasatch County population has had at least one immunization shot.
“The more people that are vaccinated, the less impact that the virus will have come fall when people are back together, perhaps in school or in other functions similar to what happened last fall,” Smoot said.
Fall 2020 brought the most severe infection and death rate related to COVID-19. Out of 22 deaths caused by COVID-19 in the county, most occurred in November and December.
According to Smoot, transmission among students was particularly high during that time.
“Particularly in our high school and middle schools, that’s where we saw the most spread happening last year, were with those age groups. So, we would encourage those kids to get it, because we do believe that will help limit the spread in schools, especially since we don’t have the same measures in place as we did in schools last year,” he said.
As of this week, the vaccination rate among people 12 through 18 in Wasatch County is 33%.
Among patients tested for variants of the virus, Smoot said there have been 33 identified cases of the extra transmissible Delta variant, but he believes the real number is much higher.
Most patients are not tested specifically for variants. He says statewide, as many as 90% of COVID-19 cases tested recently have been the Delta variant.
On a more positive note, there have been zero deaths from the virus in Wasatch County since March, and vaccination rates among the most at-risk populations are high.
Smoot says virtually 100% of people 80 and older in Wasatch County are vaccinated, and 86% among those aged 70 through 79. For ages 60 through 69, the rate is 79%.
In Wasatch County, vaccines are free and available at pharmacies, doctors’ offices and the Wasatch County Health Department building.