The video message begins at about 4:30 into the recording.
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Feb. 4, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Gov. Spencer Cox announced Thursday at his weekly news conference that, starting on March 1, COVID-19 vaccinations are expected to be open to all Utahns 65 and older, and to sufferers of very specific comorbidities who are age 18 or older.
At present, vaccinations are being made available to Utahns 70 and older, to first responders and to teachers.
Cox noted multiple times that appointments cannot yet be made for people expected to become eligible on March 1. Cox stressed that calling local health departments now would keep them from completing shots for those currently eligible, and would throw off the timeline.
Cox said “please, please, please” do not call now seeking appointments after March 1.
Details on when people in the new groups can start scheduling appointments will be provided as the date approaches, he said.
The comorbidities that will qualify patients between age 18 and older to be vaccinated starting March 1 include:
- Solid organ transplant
- Certain aggressive cancers, but not all cancers. More specific details will be included in an announcement out next week, Cox said.
- Weakened immune system from blood, bone marrow, or organ transplant; HIV; use of corticosteroids long-term; or the need for long-term use of other immune weakening medicines
- Severe kidney disease on dialysis or with stage 4 or 5 chronic kidney disease
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Chronic heart disease (not hypertension)
- Chronic liver disease including chronic hepatitis B or C
- Severe chronic respiratory disease, excluding asthma
- Neurologic conditions that impair respiratory function, including Down’s Syndrome, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, hemiplegia or quadriplegia
- Stroke and dementia (Alzheimer’s, vascular, frontotemporal)
- Asplenia including splenectomy or a spleen dysfunction, including sickle cell disease
- Severe obesity with a BMI of 40 or more
Cox said Utah’s vaccination speed is currently impaired by limited vaccine doses available. Cox said Pres. Joe Biden has increased the state’s allotment, federal partners with excess vaccine are sending some Utah’s way, and by March 1, the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine — already in production — is expected to be approved and available. An additional vaccine may be approved in April, he said.
To view Cox’s full remarks, and those of Lt. Gov. Diedre Henderson and state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn, click on the player at the top of the story.