How Utah gets vaccines
The state orders vaccine doses through the CDC each week against an allotment that is determined by our state’s percentage of the adult U.S. population.
The federal government has a separate contract with CVS and Walgreen’s to administer vaccines in long-term care facilities.
Where vaccines are going
Our highest priority has always been to save lives, so vaccines are going to those at highest risk first. That includes hospital and healthcare workers, first responders, teachers, people in long-term care facilities and people over the age of 70.
Local health departments are using their doses much faster than some of our other partners. Local health departments have had practice with mass vaccinations and are consistently administering all of their doses within 7 days of receiving them.
Where we are looking to improve
Outside of the federal pharmacy partnership, we’ve used almost all of the vaccines we have received. And the remaining doses are scheduled to be administered in the coming days.
We have renegotiated the federal pharmacy partner plan with the CDC, Walgreens, and CVS. As a result, 28,275 doses that had been allocated to these partners have been transferred back to the UDOH for distribution throughout the state. CVS and Walgreens have adequate vaccine on-hand to continue with all scheduled vaccination clinics at long-term care facilities in Utah. Residents and staff of these facilities will continue to receive their vaccinations as planned, without interruption.
Are all doses being used?
What if those who got their first vaccine don’t show up for their second dose? We have advised local health departments to give that dose to someone else, preferably within currently eligible groups, if a person doesn’t receive their second within 7 days of when it was scheduled to be administered.
Of course, those who miss their second dose can reschedule, but the priority is to use up all of our vaccine allotment as fast as we can.
A person can still reschedule their appointment and still receive their second dose.
Our strategy is still to use as many second doses as booster doses as we can. We know that in order to achieve the full 95% effectiveness of the vaccine we need people to get both doses.
We are asking for more
Our primary challenge is that we have few doses. If you haven’t been able to make an appointment yet, please wait a few days and try again. We have a lot of people going after a finite number of doses. We appreciate everyone who is doing their part to make appointments with their local health department.
We recognize that many of the scheduling systems require you to go online to make an appointment. Some of those older adults in our eligible populations may not be comfortable using the Internet. We call on family, church or neighbors to help our older Utahns with this process. This is a great time to serve those around you.
When manufacturing speeds up, when we get more supply from AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson within the next few weeks, we’re ready to handle the volume and get shots in arms.
Governor Cox redefined elements of the sate’s vaccination plan in an executive order earlier this month. You can read the executive order here.
For more information on the state’s vaccine distribution plan, please visit out vaccine distribution page.