SALT LAKE CITY – Hospitals will temporarily not receive initial doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, even if they have not completed the inoculation of all their employees, the Utah Department of Health confirmed to FOX 13.
Instead, by order of Governor Spencer Cox to expedite vaccination efforts, local health departments and long-term care facilities will receive doses for emergencies and vulnerable adults.
“As we increase the number of Utah residents who are currently eligible for the COVID-1
In the last month, hospitals have vaccinated their healthcare workers, giving priority to those who work directly with patients with COVID-19. But this move means that some hospital workers (who are lower than the priority scale) will now have to wait to be vaccinated.
Intermountain Healthcare said the UDOH move will not stop their efforts to vaccinate with a second dose that are already underway. About 30,000 health workers have already received this starting dose.
But Intermountain expected not to receive more initial doses until all employees on the second dose had been completed. The state change in approach was not expected to create problems.
“The system seems to be working well,” Intermountain spokesman Jess Gomez told FOX 13. “We’re getting these vaccinations pretty fast.”
The country’s largest health care system estimates that this means that 10,000 remaining employees will have to wait several weeks before they can resume the first doses.
The state began offering the COVID-19 vaccine to teachers and K-12 staff this week. Most local school districts have chosen to start first with their oldest educators. Next week will be offered to adults over the age of 70, as the state begins to prioritize based on age and risk. Governor Cox eliminated “key workers” from the list of priorities. However, the new governor also called for increased vaccination efforts.