5 Things Salt Lake County Wants You to Know About the COVID-19 Vaccine.
by Audrey Stevenson, PhD, MPH, MSN, FNP-BC
The good news is the vaccine is here, we have a plan, and most importantly it won’t cost you a thing. But, the questions do remain on what you need to do to get yours. The short answer: Register for an appointment, show up to your appointment, get the vaccine, wait, get the final shot, wait, embrace your new immunity. If you want a little more information than that, here are 5 quick and easy answers to guide you through the entire process.
WHO GETS IT?
Based on CDC recommendations and local government in partnership with the Salt Lake County Health Department, we have developed a rollout plan and a timeline that helps streamline the vaccination process. It prioritizes first responders, healthcare personnel, long-term care residents and staff, teachers, and high-risk individuals. The good news is, we have already accomplished this phase 1 and we are now onto the general public based on age and pre-existing conditions.
- December: First shipments of vaccine arrive, Healthcare personnel
- January: Long-term care facility staff & residents, First responders, Utahns 70+
- February: Utahns 70+, K-12 Personnel
- March: Utahns 50+, Utahns 16+ with qualifying conditions
- April: Utahns 50+
- May: Utahns 40+
- June: Utahns 30+
- July: All Utahns
HOW DO I GET IT?
By registering at ThisIsOurShot.com.
Our easy-to-use site allows you to register to get the vaccine using basic contact information. When you are qualified based on age or pre-existing condition, you will be sent detailed information either through email, phone call, or text confirming your registration and assigned an appointment date, time, and location. All you have to do is grab your ID and show up.
WHEN CAN YOU GET IT?
When you qualify.
WHERE YOU CAN GET IT?
The Salt Lake County Health Department is coordinating with local hospitals, large event venues, and other resources to create vaccination hubs and clinics all over the county to ensure we vaccinate as many people as our supply allows, and that we are covering as much area as possible, so that every Utahn has easy access to receive theirs. When your appointment is confirmed, a specific date, time, and location will be sent to you.
By summer, when the supplies are in greater stock, and our rollout groups have been inoculated, our hope is for the vaccine to be available at participating local pharmacies for anyone who would like to receive it.
And remember, whether at a hub, clinic, hospital, or pharmacy – the shot is TOTALLY FREE for everyone. If someone is charging you for a vaccine, do not take it. It is most likely a scam or illegal and certainly not safe.
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTERWARDS
Besides a big sigh of relief?
After you’ve received your first vaccination, you will be given a second appointment to receive the final dose, which will be 21-28 days after the first shot based on which brand of vaccine you have received.
After the second dose your body will need 14 days to build enough immunity to reach the up-to 95% efficacy of protection. You may experience symptoms such as a sore arm at the injection site, headache, low-grade fever, or exhaustion. These are perfectly normal side-effects. It means the vaccine is working and that your body is revving up its immunity.
Finally, you must continue to follow safety protocols such as mask wearing, social distancing, washing hands, and avoiding crowds, because while the vaccine lowers your risk by up to 95% against life-threatening symptoms, you still could pass the virus onto friends, loved ones, and members of our community who haven’t received their vaccination yet.
This site provides helpful facts from Utah’s top doctors and scientists, and information to help you schedule your vaccine appointment.