Local Health Officials Update COVID-19 Numbers, Discuss “Vaccine Hunters”

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Local health officials say some people are searching for a COVID-19 vaccine, despite not meeting state requirements.

Health officials turn to waiting list

These people, who often travel from county to county in search of a vaccine, are called “vaccine hunters.”

Diane Rindlisbacher, Intermountain Healthcare System Leader for COVID-19 Vaccine Administration, said demand among residents eligible to get vaccinated has been so high that they rarely have to worry about getting additional injections. Although in the rare cases where that happens, they have protocols to follow.

“We have a contingency plan, and most other places have it, where you have a waiting list or a call list,” he explains.

For example, he said there were extra doses left after a recent vaccination clinic in Utah County. Healthcare leaders at the scene began calling people on the waiting list and many showed up within half an hour.

According to Rindlisbacher, many of the “vaccine hunters” are close to being eligible for a vaccine and wondering if they can jump-start the process.

“Mainly what we see are people who come with their spouses who are eligible and just ask what the possibility is, because they have heard that the age is going to change,” he explains.

More than 600,000 vaccines administered in Utah

According to the Utah Department of Health, more than 600,000 coronavirus vaccines have been administered in the state.

It comes after officials reported an additional 701 new cases of coronavirus Sunday, and 10 residents died of complications from the virus.

The deaths bring the total number of Utahns lost to COVID-19 to 1,852. That number represents the people who died specifically from the effects of the coronavirus disease.

The seven-day moving average of positive testing is 777 per day. The current number of people hospitalized for the virus is 241.

How to Prevent the Spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronaviruses are spread from person to person. It is a virus similar to the common cold and flu. So to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Wear a mask.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and people with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this case, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay home, rather than going to the movies, sporting events, or other activities).
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Questions and Answers

Utah Coronavirus Information

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line: 1-800-456-7707

National resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Frequently Asked Questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States


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