Utahns can get COVID-19 vaccine at 14 new sites

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Megan Low gives Margret Maumau a Covid 19 vaccination during a press conference when the Utah Department of Health announced that they are working with Intermountain Healthcare, Nomi Health and the University of Utah Health to provide open mass vaccination sites next phase of COVID-19 vaccinations on Monday 1st March 2021.

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With a third COVID-19 vaccine slated to arrive in Utah this week, the Utah Department of Health is working with three major health companies to open 14 new mass vaccination sites.

The department announced Monday that it is working with Intermountain Healthcare, the University of Utah Health and Orem’s Nomi Health to open the locations – including eight hospitals from Logan to St. George, a health clinic and five megaplex theater locations.

UDOH spokesman Tom Hudachko said the state is adding these websites because “we’re getting to this point quickly … [where] We were given enough doses in the state to exceed the capacity of the local health department to deliver all doses. “

“Getting the vaccine has many benefits for you, your family and your community,” said Dr. Kristin Dascomb, Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Employee Health at Intermountain Healthcare, during a media conference call Monday to announce the launch. “Every person who is vaccinated brings us one step closer to our goal of herd immunity.”

Intermountain Healthcare plans to open vaccination centers in seven of its hospitals nationwide: Logan Regional Hospital in Logan; McKay Dee Hospital in Ogden; The Special Orthopedic Hospital (TOSH) in Murray; Park City Hospital in Park City; Riverton Hospital in Riverton; St. George Regional Hospital in St. George; and Utah Valley Hospital in Provo. Individuals can register for an appointment with Intermountain at Intermountain.com/covidvaccine.

Orem-based Nomi Health will open locations in five locations in the Megaplex Theaters chain: Thanksgiving Point in Lehi; Geneva in the vineyard; The district in the South Bank; Valley Fair in West Valley City; and Legacy Crossing in Centerville.

“People will enjoy relaxing [the Megaplex] Sit during the [15-minute] Observation period, “said Dr. June Steely, Medical Director of Nomi Health.

All locations except Centerville are now open 8am to 6pm daily. Steely said the Centerville location opens on Thursday, and locations at other Megaplex locations would follow suit in the coming weeks.

The Nomi Health pre-registration website, Lautetaccines.nomihealth.com/utah.

The University of Utah Health begins with two locations in Salt Lake City: the University of Utah Hospital and the Redwood Health Center. The university will add locations in Sugar House, Farmington and South Jordan next week, a University of Utah Health spokeswoman said.

The university health system uses its electronic medical records to identify patients eligible for the vaccine and then invites them to schedule an appointment, said Dr. Richard Orlandi, chief outpatient health officer at the University of Utah Health

Dr. Jose Rodriguez, assistant medical director at the United States’ Redwood Health Center, said Monday was the first day the clinic on the west side of Salt Lake City gave the vaccine to people under 65 with underlying diseases.

“A vaccine rollout is about reaching the most vulnerable,” said Rodriguez, who is also an associate vice president of Health Justice, Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Utah Health. “The whole purpose is to get it to the people who need it most first.”

To mark the new group of eligible vaccine recipients, the Redwood Clinic ensured that three newer organ transplant recipients – one heart transplant recipient and two kidney recipients – received the vaccine in front of the media.

Rodriguez noted that organ transplant patients are at particular risk from COVID-19 – because they take drugs that suppress their immune systems so their bodies don’t reject their new organs.

Gus Garcia, who received a kidney in 2018, said “we’ve all been waiting for that call” that they could get the COVID-19 vaccine. “We were very happy to know that it was finally happening for us,” he added.

As a transplant recipient, Garcia said he wore masks in public and practiced constant hand washing long before the COVID-19 pandemic made such practices common for everyone. During the pandemic, he said, “You had to get to this level and be very, very sure of where you were going and what you were doing. And make sure you had all the supplies – extra masks, extra gloves, extra disinfectant. “

In Utah, people aged 65 and over and those aged 16 and over with certain underlying medical conditions, as well as teachers, health care workers, first responders, residents and long-term care facility workers, can receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Hudachko said the state is expected to receive a total of 122,000 doses of vaccine this week. These include the first and second doses of the Pfizer and Moderna versions, which have been available since December, as well as the new Johnson & Johnson single vaccine, which was approved by federal officials on Saturday and is expected to arrive in Utah on Wednesday.

On the UDOH website coronavirus.utah.gov/vaccine-distribution, Utahns can check their eligibility and find links to make appointments through local health districts, pharmacies or health care providers, Hudachko said.

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