The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. While the first doses of the vaccine have arrived, we only have a limited supply. We want it to be easy for everyone to get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as enough doses are available. Policymakers have developed plans to make sure those who are most at-risk get the vaccine first, and that vaccines are distributed in a fair, ethical, and transparent way.
The Utah Department of Health organized a workgroup made up of health professionals throughout the state (called the Utah Prioritization Workgroup) to develop recommendations for how to prioritize vaccination groups on the state and local level. Their final recommendations, called Utah’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan, are based on current information about COVID-19 vaccines, state and local data, vaccine storage capability of facilities, and guidance from the CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). The Strategic Vaccination Coalition is also providing feedback to the Utah Department of Health on how to prioritize limited supplies of the vaccine.
More vaccines will be available over the next few weeks and months. We expect these guidelines to change based on new information and data. We will continue to provide additional updates about vaccine distribution information when more doses of the vaccine become available. You can find these updates at https://coronavirus.utah.gov/vaccine.
As of now, this is the anticipated distribution timeline for the COVID-19 vaccine, which is subject to change based on availability:
The vaccine is available to healthcare personnel who work in high-risk environments at hospitals in the state that provide care to the highest numbers of COVID-19 patients.
Late December – January
From late December through January, the vaccine will be provided to:
- Healthcare workers in high-risk environments in the remaining hospital facilities across the state which did not receive the first doses of the vaccine
- Healthcare personnel who work in places like healthcare clinics, pharmacies, Tribal health, long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities
- Other healthcare personnel who are at higher-risk for severe illness from COVID-19
- K-12 school staff
- EMS, first responders, public health workers, Tribal EMS, and Tribal public health workers
These individuals are often faced with the possibility of exposure to COVID-19 positive patients or other infectious materials, and are unable to telework.
February – March
From February through March, we expect the vaccine supply will have increased and more people will be able to get the vaccine. The vaccine will be given to long-term care facility staff and residents who have not been vaccinated and essential workers.
March – July
From March through July, we expect the vaccine will be available to the general public. It will likely be available through routine vaccination programs, and while it will still be administered through public health sites, it will also be available through additional private partner sites.
We must continue to wear masks, physical distance, wash our hands frequently, and stay home when we have symptoms of COVID-19 in order to further prevent the spread of COVID-19.
For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine in Utah, visit https://coronavirus.utah.gov/vaccine.
- “COVID-19 Vaccination Program Interim Playbook for Jurisdiction Operations”