As vaccine made available to all adults, county health officials anticipate rollout to remain smooth
Summit County has administered the most first doses per capita in the state
Derek Siddoway, communications director for the Summit County Health Department, said the department has been “extremely encouraged” by the community’s response to the coronavirus vaccine, indicating officials have not encountered hesitancy around getting inoculated.
As of March 18, 47% of adults in Summit County had received at least one dose of a vaccine, including 91% of people 70 and older, according to county data.
“We have never had a challenge filling appointments at our clinics, which speaks to the desire of our residents to receive the vaccine,” Siddoway said.
Siddoway said over the past year the department has worked hard to keep the community informed as the COVID-19 pandemic evolved. While he said each individual should consult their doctor about which vaccine is best for them, the department’s role has been to ensure people know when and where they can get vaccinated.
“We want people to know that the vaccine is safe,” he said. “The majority of our outreach efforts have been focused on helping our residents successfully register for the vaccine as quickly as possible.”
As of Wednesday, all Utahns 16 and older are allowed to receive COVID-19 shots, with Gov. Spencer Cox widening eligibility in part due to appointments in the state going unfilled. That has not been a significant problem in Summit County. Siddoway said the county’s goal is to see at least 70% of the community vaccinated, and he anticipates no problems reaching that mark as appointments open up to all adults.
“That’s thanks to the diligence of our residents,” he said.
Reaching that goal would not mean the community could immediately ditch masks and start holding large in-person gatherings, Siddoway said. COVID-19 safety measures will likely be necessary for a while longer, and given Park City is a tourist destination, there is the added wrinkle of non-residents who may not be vaccinated visiting the area for recreation.
“We encourage our residents and businesses to continue good health practices in the coming months,” Siddoway said. “It will be a challenge for all of us to learn to safely live with COVID, even after mass vaccinations conclude.”
Summit County recently surpassed San Juan County for the most first doses administered per capita of any county in Utah. Siddoway said that illustrates the strong desire among residents to be vaccinated. It’s not time to celebrate just yet, however. Given the high demand, it will still be several weeks before all adults who want to be inoculated can receive their shots.
“We appreciate the patience of our residents in reaching this point in the vaccination process,” he said. “As we move into vaccinations for the general adult population, it is vital that everyone 60 and older who wants the vaccine has had the opportunity to receive it.”
If you or someone you know is 60 or older and has not had the opportunity to schedule a vaccine appointment, call the Summit County Health Department’s COVID-19 hotline at 435-333-0050 to get an appointment. Residents can also visit https://summitcountyhealth.org/vaccine/.
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The CDC recommends vaccinated people wear masks in indoor public settings in Summit County, a step backward precipitated by the rise in cases tied to the more-transmissible Delta variant.