“It came really handy,” David Heaton, Southwest Utah Public Health Department on using a “shootout” dry run to prepare for a pandemic vaccination.
Is this the model for mass vaccination while maintaining social distance?
Test starts Tuesday in Utah
Sep 18, 2020
ST. GEORGE — A large round-up to give people flu vaccinations at the fairgrounds at Washington County Regional Park will be a test run for how a COVID-19 vaccine would be distributed en masse when it becomes available.
David Heaton, spokesperson for the Southwest Utah Public Health Department, said the department’s annual “Flu Shootout,” normally just a drive-through event at St. George’s Red Cliffs Mall, will this year also include a larger scale vaccine distribution for all ages at the fairgrounds in Hurricane on Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
The drive-through at Red Cliffs Mall will also still take place during the same hours on Sept. 29 for those 18 and over only.
There are also “shoutout” events planned in Southern Utah’s other four counties throughout October.
“This time we’re asking folks to not only to get their flu shot but to practice for the COVID-19 vaccines when those are out,” Heaton said. “This is how we would distribute the COVID-19 vaccine.”
A large and rapid distribution of an eventual coronavirus vaccine takes additional meaning on a day Southern Utah saw its largest number of new infections since Aug. 6, and the statewide number spiked beyond the millennium mark in one day with 1,117 new cases.
The health department has been in the process of hiring additional staff to handle what would be an “all hands on deck” effort to make sure as many people as possible are immunized against the COVID-19 virus.
While President Donald Trump has said a vaccine will be ready by next month, most health experts say the most optimistic assessment of when a vaccine would be ready for wide distribution is next Summer.
For now, the focus is on getting as many immunized as possible against the flu. But the year of the pandemic, even that has coronavirus overtones … Read more.
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