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Utah ages 50 and older could start making appointments for COVID-1
He also said younger jute adults with certain health conditions could seek a vaccine. These new qualifying conditions are type 1 or type 2 diabetes, obesity with a BMI index of 30 or higher, and anyone with chronic kidney disease.
Cox announced this at his weekly British briefing on COVID-19, broadcast on Facebook Live from the Utah Capitol.
“It’s a huge addition to eligibility,” Cox said. “Which means it won’t be possible for everyone in these areas to get an appointment right away,” he added. “People will have to be patient, they will have to keep checking again.”
He asked the newly elected jute to wait until Monday to make appointments.
By April, Cox said, the state hopes to be able to open vaccinations for all adults in Utah, “assuming everything goes according to plan.”
The news comes a day after hospitals in Utah began receiving shipments of the Johnson & Johnson disposable vaccine, which was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for emergency use on Saturday.
Before Thursday, Utah 65 and older were eligible for the vaccine, along with people over 18 with certain serious or chronic medical conditions, health workers, first aid, teachers and residents, and long-term care staff.
Cox announced that six counties – Cache, Davis, Grand, Salt Lake, Sanpete and Wasac – will move into the “moderate” transmission categories of the state. They join seven other counties that were previously in the “moderate” category.
“There are no restrictions on” moderate “gatherings,” Cox said, “as long as they are wearing masks. “
Cox also said he wanted to “reflect on the fact that we lost almost 2,000 June from this insidious disease.”
Cox said a year ago he asked state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn how bad the pandemic could be. The worst-case scenario, Dunn told Cox, is 20,000 Utahs dying from COVID-19; the best the state could hope for was 2,000 deaths.
“We are very grateful and excited to be at our best,” Cox said.
Dunn urged Utah to take any of the three vaccines offered while looking for appointments. “The best vaccine you can get is the one you can get first, regardless of the manufacturer,” she said.
This story is evolving and will be updated.