Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Health, Science & Environment

Utah Governor Encourages Recently Infected People To Sign Up For COVID Vaccines

PBS Gov Conf 0408
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
Deseret News
Gov. Spencer Cox speaks during the PBS Utah Governor’s Monthly News Conference at the Eccles Broadcast Center in Salt Lake City on Thursday, April 15, 2021. Cox said he disagreed with the federal government’s decision to halt distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. He said the risk of contracting COVID-19 is greater than that of getting blood clots from the shot.

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox announced Thursday that people who have been recently infected are now encouraged to sign up for COVID-19 vaccines.

Previously, people who tested positive for the virus were asked to wait 90 days before getting vaccinated.

Cox said the state now has enough shots to vaccinate recently infected people, too.

“Individuals should wait to get vaccinated until they don’t have any symptoms from their COVID infection and once they’ve been released from their quarantine or isolation period,” Cox said.

Cox also addressed the federal government’s decision to pause distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine

He said the pause is frustrating because the state doesn’t want to lose momentum with its vaccine rollout. He also hopes it doesn’t cause greater hesitancy around getting vaccinated.

“When you realize that you’re far more likely to get eaten by a shark or get struck by lightning than you are to develop this very rare blood clot issue, then people will realize that getting these vaccines is good,” he said. “And we have two vaccines that we know don’t have any of these issues, so please, go and get this vaccine.”

Though Cox is wrong about the shark-related deaths, the chance of being hit by lightning is one in 500,000. There have been just six cases of blood clots reported out of 7 million people who received it.

Last month, Utah launched a plan to get more people vaccinated in marginalized communities. Since then, Cox said Latino, Asian and Pacific Islander communities have increased their vaccinations by more than 400%, while Black communities have seen a 345% jump.

Cox acknowledged there are some people who will never get vaccinated. But the people who are unsure if it’s for them — that’s who he’s worried about.

“That’s the group we really need to get vaccinated to help us get back to normal, to help us get closer to herd immunity,” he said. “I want to be transparent. I want to give Utahns the best information possible and help them make that decision.”

KUER is listener-supported public radio. Support this work by making a donation today.