Fox File #96: A Shot in the Arm
A year after many of us transitioned our organizations to remote work, it was fabulous to learn that the scientific breakthrough of the COVID-19 vaccines would soon be made available to every adult Utahn. While masks and distancing have been our safest way to stay engaged in the economy, vaccines represent an amazing leap for us to reengage in many of the activities we love and have yearned for over the last year!
As part of EDCUtah’s role in supporting the state’s response to the pandemic, I serve as chair of the Critical Infrastructure and Supply Chain Working Group. In our monthly meeting last week, we got an update on the statewide vaccination process from the Utah Department of Health (DOH).
We were later able to partner with the Salt Lake Chamber on a webinar, further broadcasting this vital information provided by Lt. Governor Deidre Henderson, Jill Parker (Utah Association of Local Health Departments), Nikki Campbell (Utah Department of Health), and Mikelle Moore (Intermountain Health Care).
The information was so pertinent, that we’d like to recap it for all of our EDCUtah stakeholders. A big thanks to all of the experts who have shared their time and knowledge with us!
- The expectation is that the next eligibility wave will include all Utah adults. This widening of the criteria is expected on April 1, 2021. In fact, Lt. Governor Henderson told us we could “take that date to the bank.” The State of Utah expects that increases in production capacity will push the weekly number of shots in arms from 62k doses per week to 162k doses per week.
- A number of businesses have their own health clinics onsite. This delivery mode will be viewed as a high priority and may be the fastest way to get employees vaccinated. If you have such a clinic, get it onboarded now! It’s a two-week onboarding process. More below. Here’s a link to take a survey to start the process if you’re interested: https://utahgov.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_1BoS2owjzX4dY1f
- If you don’t have an onsite clinic, you’ll want to encourage your employees to go through normal channels, e.g. county vaccine sites, pharmacies, etc. A great resource that shows sites by zip code is www.vaccinefinder.org.
- Some businesses have inquired about the possibility of onsite mobile “pop-up” clinics, a la blood drives. There will be limited onsite mobile vaccine options, and the capacity is limited to 12k doses/week. Those resources will initially be focused on hard-to-reach populations (congregate care, the unhoused, etc.). Eventually, those mobile onsite options will be made available to employers but the expectation is that is several months out. At that time, the state will first prioritize those employers who:
- are at risk of or who have had outbreaks (more than 90 days ago);
- who have a high number of multi-cultural employees;
- who cannot telework; and
- who have a high number of uninsured employees.
- Utah is known for its volunteerism, and there are lots of ways for individuals and businesses to get involved in the state’s vaccination efforts. To learn more, click on the following link: https://www.utahresponds.org
As an aside, this serious subject had a lighter side. Nikki explained that any onsite clinic requires a freezer/refrigerator dedicated solely to medical purposes. Please DO NOT store your vaccine supply next to Ralph from Accounting’s ham sandwich.