Adults 70 and older can now walk in and get a COVID-19 shot in Utah. They have to contact their local health department to schedule an appointment for the vaccination.
Those who do not schedule their appointment ahead of time will not be vaccinated when they show up at the vaccination sites. People can book an appointment either online or over the phone.
The state health department adjusts the number of appointments based on the amount of vaccine doses available. Those who wish to get vaccinated have to monitor the Utah Health Department website or sign up to receive text alerts.
Julie Damron ran into problems with this system when she tried to schedule an appointment for her parents. “They really wanted to get vaccinated because they are in such a high risk category.”
Marlin and Beth Dearden are both 82 years old. They spend half of the year living in their Sundance cabin and half the year in St. George. Damron called her parents every day to tell them to schedule an appointment for the vaccine. She did the research and gave them specific instructions on what they should do.
“But they ran into several issues.”
Because Marlin and Beth’s permanent residence is their Sundance cabin, they had to get vaccinated in Utah County—not in St. George, where they currently live.
“They would go online and they couldn’t figure out how to get into the system… They couldn’t figure out how to log in and they couldn’t remember their log in,” said Damron.
By the time Marlin and Beth logged in to the website, they couldn’t find any open slots on the schedule. In the end, Damron and other friends in St. George had to help Marlin and Beth schedule an appointment for the vaccine.
Aislynn Tolman-Hill with the Utah Health Department says people need to look out for those who get lost in the system.
“Yes, it’s about us as an individual, but it’s also about our community,” Tolman-Hill said.
She said the state health workers have done their best to make this process easy for Utahns. She encourages friends and families to step up and help those who need to get vaccinated.
“Yes, we do know that there’s individuals who might have a harder time with the technology. So making sure that we are reaching out and supporting them as much as possible.
The Utah Department of Health estimates the state will receive 1.2 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine next month. This will allow those between 65 and 69 to get vaccinated starting March 1. Visit health.utahcounty.gov for more information.