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Intermountain Cedar City Hospital

Thursday, July 8, 2021

4:27 p.m.

Contact: Becki Bronson, Cedar City Hospital spokeswoman, 435-531-3711

Attached: pictures of local caregivers Karma Adamson, Emergency Department Health Unit Coordinator at Cedar City Hospital, getting vaccinated, use at will


The numbers are compelling: those who are being hospitalized with COVID are overwhelmingly ones who have not been vaccinated for COVID-19. Data from the Utah Department of Health shows that from March 23 to June 15, 2021, when all Utahns aged 16 and older became eligible to receive the vaccine, there were 27,017 total COVID-19 cases identified in Utah, with 96.9 percent of them unvaccinated; there were 1,532 people hospitalized, with 95.2% of them unvaccinated; and there were 110 deaths, with 98% of them being unvaccinated.

Eric Packer, CEO of Intermountain Cedar City Hospital, said that the data speaks for itself. “We are once again seeing numbers rise of patients with COVID, and it’s clear that getting the vaccine is the strongest way to prevent getting hospitalized from COVID.”

Dr. David Blodgett, health officer for Southwest Utah Public Health Department, stresses the importance of getting the COVID vaccine. “The single best way to stay out of the hospital and avoid the effects of this disease is to get vaccinated,” Blodgett said. “This vaccine is almost perfect at keeping people out of the hospital and keeping them from dying.”

The data overwhelming supports this, as new analysis by the Associated Press based on CDC data found nationally more than 99% of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the U.S. are unvaccinated.

“These new findings confirm what we’ve known for a while now: the vaccines work and help protect people,” said Tamara Sheffield, MD, Intermountain Healthcare Community Health medical director. “The COVID vaccines work remarkably well to not only prevent infection from COVID-19, but are also very effective at preventing hospitalization and death.”

So far, the vaccination numbers in our area of southwest Utah show that roughly 64 percent of the eligible population is fully vaccinated. While that’s not as high as Blodgett and others would like to see, it does include 85 percent of those ages 75 and older — which has been determined as the highest risk age group.

“The 85 percent number is good, but that means 15 percent of those at greatest risk are not vaccinated,” Blodgett said.

Karma Adamson just finished with receiving vaccine-Tom Giles, RN pictured

The challenge now, Blodgett said, is to wade through some of the contradictory and often inaccurate messaging around COVID-19. “We’re happy to talk to people about their concerns and we have answers to vaccine related questions on our website,” Blodgett said. “All we can do is continue to be consistent and provide correct information for people. We want to be a trustworthy source for information on this situation.”

Blodgett said it is extremely unfortunate that so much of the information available nationally has a political tie-in. “Our messaging is always about how to take control of your health and your life,” Blodgett said. “Vaccines are about protecting yourself and protecting others… In the realm of things that have been most effective and helpful in human history, vaccines rank up there as among the most effective things that can be done to improve quality and quantity of life.”

“This is one of those few community activities that we can do that benefits everyone,” he said.


At the Southwest Utah Public Health Department, there are plenty of vaccines available and no need to make an appointment, you can just walk in to most places. Find out more at:


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