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Reporting from the St. George area focused on local government, public lands and the environment, indigenous issues and faith and spirituality.

St. George Hospital Workers Start Receiving Second Dose Of COVID-19 Vaccine

A photo of a healthcare worker getting a vaccine shot.
Courtesy of Intermountain Healthcare
A caregiver at St. George Regional Hospital receiving one of the first COVID-19 vaccines in the area.

Intermountain St. George Regional Hospital has the goal of giving all its caregivers the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of this week.

So far, just over 2,000 hospital workers have been vaccinated, and last week around 200 received their second dose, according to nurse administrator Natalie Ashby. She said just over half of hospital workers have opted to be vaccinated.

Ashby said distributing the vaccine has been a lot of work, hospital workers started getting vaccinated in early December, and it ramped up over the holidays. Despite all the long hours she’s had to put in for distribution, Ashby’s said she’s excited about the rollout.

“It's been all hands on deck to get going,” she said. “We had vaccination clinics over the holidays and just continue to have at least three to four vaccination clinics of eight to nine hours a week just trying to move the work forward.”

Ashby said she hasn’t received the second dose of the vaccine yet, but she’s looking forward to doing so next week.

Caregivers at other Intermountain hospitals in the southwest region started getting inoculated last week, according to Becki Bronson, a spokesperson for Intermountain. She said about 55% of hospital workers in Garfield and Iron Counties got vaccinated, and “it's offered a shot in the arm of hope to many here.”

Gov. Spencer Cox has stressed the importance of vaccine distribution, and on Friday he issued an executive order to streamline it.

“There is nothing more important in any of our careers, collectively than what we are doing right now,” Cox said. “This is what the world has been waiting for.”

Healthcare workers and first responders are currently able to get vaccinated. And starting this week K-12 teachers across the state also can. As of Monday morning, Utah has administered more than 91,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Updated: January 11, 2021 at 11:07 AM MST
This story was updated to reflect the number of COVID-19 doses Utah has administered.
Lexi is KUER's Southwest Bureau reporter
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