A new COVID-19 vaccination site opened this week at BYU. Newsline reporter Rachel Smith sat down with Danica Topham from the Utah County Health Department to learn more about the BYU vaccination site and how it came to be.
The site opened on Monday, right on schedule. Topham said the Utah County Health Department and BYU enjoy a well-established partnership to address the Covid pandemic.
“Since the beginning of Covid, we’ve partnered with them for contact tracing, and this is just kind of the natural evolution. It’s been really great now that we have this space with BYU,” said Topham.
A variety of workers and volunteers staff the site, including some BYU students. “This site has our national guard members, as well as our normal medical reserve core volunteers and other volunteers that volunteer through the state. … We do have a lot of BYU students that we’re really grateful for.”
The site has a capacity for around 2,000 vaccinations a day, but Topham said they’ve had a daily turnaround of closer to 700 shots during the first week.
The vaccination process is fairly simple. After registration, vaccine recipients get an email with a confirmation code that they bring to the site. When they arrive, they scan their ID and schedule the second dose if necessary.
“After you schedule your second, then you’re going to go to the counseling nurses. … They’ll advise you whether you need to wait 15 minutes or 30 minutes after the vaccine for observation,” said Topham. “After you meet with the counseling nurses, you’ll go to the shooting nurses where you will get the injection, and then you go to the waiting area for 15 to 30 minutes so that the nurses can observe and make sure you’re not allergic to anything.”
While some sites accept walk-ins to fill the leftover vaccines, Topham said that Utah County doesn’t typically accept walk-ins.
“We follow the amount we have for the appointments, so we have a pretty exact number and we don’t do walk-ins.”
The Utah County Health Department has three different vaccination sites, one in Provo, American Fork and Spanish Fork, but many other providers also offer the vaccinations.
You can visit health.utahcounty.gov to schedule your vaccine, or text “UC health” to 888-777 for vaccination updates.