One month ago as February started, the Tooele County Health Department had vaccinated 5,248 people in Tooele County. That number was amazing at the time.
Initially vaccinating health-care workers, teachers and residents and workers of long term care facilities, followed by residents over 70, the Tooele County Health Department made 2,000 appointments for vaccinations in one day.
The state recently threw the door open to vaccinations for residents age 65 and over and those with certain medical conditions.
As of Feb. 25, just 23 calendar days later than the reported 5,248 vaccinations — Tooele County Health Department announced 12,751 people in the county had been vaccinated.
That’s a 143% increase.
Anticipating the arrival of more vaccines with production ramped up and the recent approval of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, the health department is opening up a vaccine center at the Deseret Peak Complex and working with other providers to get more vaccines into the arms of Tooele County residents.
The health department promised as they received more vaccines that they could and would ramp up their vaccination efforts.
They are keeping their promise.
We extend our thanks and appreciation to the Tooele County Health Department, their employees, and others involved in the vaccination effort.
Those thanks are also extended to the unseen health department workers that have worked on contact tracing, unseen quietly behind the scene.
Some national health officials say we are in a race to get people vaccinated before variant strains of the virus that are more transmissible spread the virus further, prolonging the pandemic with another spike in cases and deaths.
Not only do we want to beat the variant strains, but we need a return to normalcy — the days when we can gather in crowds, hug each other, or talk to a friend in the grocery store without backing up six feet.
Vaccinating is our best bet to reach that, but we recognize that the decision to get vaccinated is a personal decision.
But you can’t get vaccinated without something like the Tooele County Health Department to make vaccinations available.
Thank you Tooele County Health Department. You have been there for us. And thank you to other agencies, volunteers, and providers that will now make it possible for more of our residents to roll up our sleeves and get the jab to put COVID-19 behind us.