Utah Health Centers and COVID Vaccinations

February 12, 2021

For Immediate Release: February 12, 2021
Contact: Beth Fiorello

The White House has announced next week’s launch of the Federally Qualified Health Center Vaccine program that will provide more vaccines for Community Health Centers as part of a broader effort to reach under-represented and vulnerable populations. The program will be phased in, with the first centers able to start ordering vaccines as early as next week. The initial phase will include 25 health centers in seven states, expanding to 250 centers with at least one in each state in the coming weeks. These new steps aim to meet the President’s goal of administering 100 million shots in 100 days and ensure that vaccines are administered equitably.

Utah’s Community and Homeless Health Centers are extremely grateful for the Administration’s efforts to ensure equitable distribution. However, Utah Health Centers are not included in the first phase of direct vaccine distribution. Utah Health Centers expect to be included in future phases and will inform State policy makers, communities, and other stakeholders once vaccine shipments have been confirmed.

In addition to direct federal vaccine distribution, Utah Health Centers have been working collaboratively with the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) and Local Health Departments (LHD) in an effort to reach under-resourced and vulnerable populations. To date, Health Centers in San Juan County, Green River, and those serving individuals experiencing homelessness have received vaccines through their UDOH/LHD partnership. Health centers are appreciative of this partnership and look forward to working closely with the State to further expand access for Utah’s under-represented populations.  

Utah’s 13 Health Center organizations operate 54 clinics in urban and rural communities and provide care to more than 168,000 people/550,000 patient visits annually: 92% of Utah Health Center patients live below 200% of Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG); 52% are uninsured; and 61% identify as a racial or ethnic minority. For more information, please visit www.auch.org.  

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About Association for Utah Community Health

AUCH is a membership organization comprised of Utah’s health center organizations and allied safety-net clinics. 13 Utah health centers operate 54 clinics in urban and rural communities and provide care to more than 168,000 people annually. Health Centers provide comprehensive primary and preventive healthcare services including medical, behavioral health, vision, and pharmaceutical. In addition, they offer supportive services that provide education and promote access to healthcare, such as health insurance enrollment assistance. For more information about AUCH, please visit www.auch.org.