COVID-19 vaccines available for Utahns with certain medical conditions

Vaccines for COVID-19 are now available for individuals ages 16 and up who have certain underlying conditions that qualify them for it. (Sydnee Gonzalez)

COVID-19 vaccines are now available for Utahns ages 16 and up who have certain underlying conditions.

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox made the announcement during a press conference on Feb. 25.

“We’re prioritizing these individuals, again based on age and these underlying co-morbidities because they are at the greatest risk of hospitalization or death,” Cox said.

Some of these conditions include chronic heart disease, chronic liver disease and cancer diagnosed within the last 5 years. The full list of qualifying conditions can be found on the Utah Coronavirus page for vaccine distribution.

The Utah County Health Department is always working to make sure people stay informed of changes to the vaccination groups, according to public information officer Kylaas Flanagan.

“Priority groups can be updated at any time by the governor and the state coronavirus task force. Stay tuned with our texting service and the social media sites,” Flanagan said.

Along with spreading the word about new qualifications for the vaccine, the health department is working to ensure the vaccine is easily accessible to those who fit into the current vaccination phase.

Flanagan said there are more vaccines coming to the state soon that will be distributed to those who choose to take it. “We are increasing our partnerships with NOMI health, Intermountain, pharmacies, BYU and other healthcare organizations to provide more locations to receive the vaccine.”

Even though the county is seeking to expand their partnerships, the governor warned the public to be patient with the businesses and medical centers that will be distributing the vaccine.

“There is naturally more demand for vaccines when an additional group is added to the priority list, and that demand decreases as less and less people are unvaccinated in the priority group,” said Utah County Health Department public information officer Aislynn Tolman-Hill.

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