PROVO – Two health departments in Utah warn that they are running out of eligible people for the COVID-19 vaccine and that supply is exceeding current demand.
“In Utah County, we are definitely feeling the slowdown,” said Aislynn Tolman-Hill, spokesperson for the Utah County Health Department. “Each and every day seems to be more of a slowdown of seeing that 70 and older population signing up for appointments.”
Employees with the Utah County Health Department worked to fill empty appointments on Friday. Utah Valley Hospital even lifted the residency requirement and didn’t require an appointment.
“Everyone that we get is one less that needs to sign up,” Tolman-Hill said. “So that’s something that we definitely are concerned about between now and March 1st, until that time that we move into that next priority population.”
Starting in March, Utah is expected to allow those 65 and older to get the vaccine.
“We would absolutely be ready to move on to that next priority group sooner if they would let us,” said Joshua Greer, spokesperson for the Bear River Health Department. “We’re to that point.”
VIDEO: “We had 200, 300 people not show up for the clinic.”
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In addition to Utah County, the Bear River Health Department, which covers three counties in the northern part of the state, also reported having a difficult time filling appointments.
“Our appointments the last week of February still haven’t filled,” Greer said. “So we are in that same boat that Utah County is in.”
On Friday, the Bear River Health Department had to work quickly to find people to come to the vaccine clinic after hundreds didn’t show up for appointments earlier in the week.
“We’ve got all this vaccine out of the freezer,” Greer said. “It has to be used this week so it doesn’t go to waste.”
In order to fill appointments for the coming weeks, both health departments are hoping that the public will help spread the word to those who are 70 and older that it’s never been easier to get the vaccine.
“It’s becoming harder and harder to find people in that category to sign up and to take those doses,” Greer said.