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Here’s what Utah health departments do with extra COVID vaccines



PROVO, Utah – At the end of a long day of vaccinating Utahns, a local health department may find they have an extra dose or two of the COVID-19 vaccine. What happens with those doses depends on where you live.

Health departments across the state say they schedule appointments for every dose they get, meaning any extra doses come from no-show appointments, or there were more doses than accounted for in a vial of the vaccine.

To deal with those doses, the Weber-Morgan Health Department created a “standby list” of people available to come in at the last minute if there are extra doses.

“It’s currently over 2,000 names long. We’re not adding to it currently,” said Lori Buttars with the Weber-Morgan Health Department.

She says they closed the list because they aren’t making much headway, only getting a few extra doses from a clinic.

Health departments statewide have different approaches to make sure they’re using every single dose of COVID-19 vaccine they have. We talked to several of the larger departments to find out what they do with extra doses. (KUTV File)

“We don’t want people waiting on that list, when they could have gotten an appointment otherwise,” Buttars said.

She said the best way is to sign up for an appointment online, or get on another list, their waiting list. That is a list of people who were unable to schedule an appointment online. The county has the Utah National Guard helping to contact people on the list to schedule appointments.

Other Utah health departments said they don’t have a standby list at all, and that it is rare they have any extra doses.

When they do, Salt Lake County said those doses go to staff or volunteers. The Southwest Utah Public Health Department does the same.

The Summit County Health Department said its extra doses go to homebound individuals or clinic staff that are high risk.