Teachers and staff members in Utah’s K-12 schools will be eligible
to receive the COVID-19 vaccine beginning the week of January 11. Utah
Gov. Spencer J. Cox made the announcement in
Friday’s COVID-19 briefing. Utah adults 70 and older will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine
beginning the week of January 18.
Gov. Cox set a goal of fully immunizing all health care providers, long-term
care facility staff and residents, first responders, public and tribal
health frontline workers, K-12 teachers and school staff, and adults older
than 70 by the end of February. Approximately 412,000 Utah residents from
these population groups are expected to be vaccinated.
School districts have been working with their
local health departments and other providers in their areas on plans for vaccinating their staff.
Districts and administrators will communicate directly with their employees
on how, when, and where to be vaccinated.
“We know there is tremendous demand among teachers for the vaccine,
and we are thrilled to be able to accelerate the timeline for immunizing
teachers,” said Gov. Cox. “There’s no part of our society
that COVID-19 has impacted more significantly than education. Getting
the vaccine out to teachers and school staff will provide stability in
our schools and improve the educational experience of our students.”
Utah’s 13 local health departments have already vaccinated tens of
thousands of Utah health care workers and first responders, and will also
be responsible for vaccinating older adults. Older adults or their caretakers
should contact their
local health department late next week to learn about how to make an appointment.
“Providing vaccines for these additional groups is exciting, but
it is important to manage expectations,” said Rich Saunders, Utah
Department of Health executive director. “We are still receiving
a limited number of doses each week, and demand is likely to outpace supply
initially. Not everyone will be able to schedule an appointment next week,
but we ask them to be patient and keep trying. We will have enough doses
to eventually vaccinate everyone in these groups.”
Originally, teachers and school staff were anticipated to receive vaccinations
later in January, and older adults in mid-February. Based on current vaccine
administration progress, anticipated supply over the next several weeks,
the important role schools play in society, and the severity of disease
older adults experience, Utah’s Unified Command group recommended
accelerating the vaccination timeline.
Subsequent populations being considered for vaccination priority include
prioritization by additional age groups, residents with certain underlying
medical conditions, and certain residents who live in congregate settings.
More details about the COVID-19 vaccine, and Utah’s distribution
plan, can be found at
executive order, describes vaccine eligibility and vaccine provider requirements, including
not administering the vaccine to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
within 90 days, administering each COVID-19 vaccine within seven days
of receiving the vaccine; and reporting data each day by 6:59 a.m.
It also states that a vaccine provider that does not comply with the Order
may be subject to a reduced COVID-19 vaccine distribution or no distribution
for future distribution periods. A COVID-19 vaccine not used within seven
days of distribution is subject to redistribution.
The Order states the Utah Department of Health shall coordinate with local
health departments to establish procedures to offer
monoclonal antibodies to residents of long-term care facilities who have tested positive for
For more information on the state’s vaccine distribution plan, please
vaccine distribution webpage.