COVID-19 vaccine is close, Ice Ribbon is open, and The Davis Clipper changes to the Davis Journal

The first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are getting very close.
It seems likely that the FDA will give emergency approval for the first COVID-19 vaccines in the next 10 days. Here are some common questions that I have been asked:

Q: Has the vaccine been adequately tested?

A: I believe so. There are 2 vaccines (one from Pfizer and one from Moderna) that have been through Phase 1, Phase 2, and Phase 3 trials. The results from the Phase 3 trials are what the FDA is reviewing right now -- and if they agree that the data show effectiveness and safety (including checking for side effects for the 2 months after the vaccines showed effectiveness in blocking COVID-19 infection) then that is when they will give their approval to administer the vaccines. Longer term checking for rare side effects will still have to occur for many months (same as for other vaccines) after the vaccines are used in the community.

Q: Who will get the vaccine first?

A: The first shipment of vaccines that will arrive in Utah will be somewhere around 40,000 doses. Those vaccines will be given to front line workers who are taking care of COVID-19 patients in the hospitals, to frail elderly patients who are in nursing homes (who are both at the highest risk for severe illness and death, and the highest risk for catching it since they live in a group setting), and also the workers who care for those patients. When subsequent doses become available, the state is working out a priority list for other workers and groups who are at high risk.

Q: How long will it be until anyone who wants the vaccine can get it and how will I know that I can get the vaccine?

A: We seem to be on track for the first doses in the next few weeks and then some additional larger number of doses in January that will still be for high risk groups. And then it will (likely) be spring before there are enough to offer them to the community at large. When we get close to that, there will be information from the state and on the news regarding which groups may get the vaccine and where they can go to get them. It is also important to remember that these vaccines are so far tested only in adults, so we are many months away from having a vaccine that is tested for use in children.

Q: Will the state require people to get the vaccine even if they don't want it?

A: No.

Healthcare facilities (like Intermountain and the U of U) may -- similar to what they do with other contagious conditions -- require individuals who work for them to get the vaccine.

Q: How long does immunity last after getting the illness and how long does it last after getting the vaccine?

A: We have evidence that immunity for those who catch the illness lasts at least 6 months, and for the vaccine we have evidence that goes out at least 2-3 months. Both of those are limited by how long we have been able to measure -- and with the passage of each additional month we will be able to describe the length of immune protection better (and we are hoping it turns out to be long term for both).

Q: Is it better to become immune by getting the illness or by getting the vaccine?

A: It is better to become immune by getting the vaccine because you don't run the risk of going to the hospital yourself and you don't run the risk of passing the virus on and injuring someone else you care about.

Q: Do I plan to get the vaccine?

A: You bet.

Q: Where can I get other reliable information about the vaccines?

A: Here is a link to the CDC COVID-19 web page

Ice Ribbon
at the
Bountiful Town Square is now open.
The Ice Ribbon is now open at the Bountiful Town Square.

The Bountiful Town Square is the downtown block next to the Bountiful Tabernacle (where Stoker School used to be). All of the construction is done and it looks great!

The Ice Ribbon is open and taking reservations. And the adjacent Fiiz is also open and standing by to sell you hot chocolate in the winter and soda in the summer.

The Ice Ribbon is being run as an extension of the South Davis Recreation Center. They are open most any time that the sun is up and school is not in session. You can make a reservation to skate on the Ribbon at the South Davis Rec Reservation page here.

If you are looking for something to do with the kids/grandkids that is outside, socially distanced, and that they can't be bored of yet because they haven't ever tried it before -- outdoor ice skating downtown should be top of your list.

The Davis County Clipper
is gone ☹️

Welcome to the
Davis Journal! 😊
After 125 years of publishing local news in Davis County, the Davis Clipper has sadly gone out of business -- one of the many sad casualties of the pandemic. Their last edition was this last Thursday.☹️

But all is not yet lost! Tom Haraldsen, the editor of the Clipper, is starting up with a new online-only paper called the Davis Journal. Many of the same reporters who were working for the Clipper will also be writing for the new online paper.

This past fall, as I was seeing patients at my medical clinic, I treated quite a few folks (both Republican and Democrat) who came in asking if I would give them a prescription to calm their nerves because they were just so worried about the results of the election, because every day when they read the news it was just making them more and more upset. When I asked what news they were getting, many of them said they just read articles that came across their Facebook feed and said they didn't know where else to get news from.

I am here to tell you that if you want news that is close to home, about decisions that will make a difference in our local community, and that will be much better for your state of mind than getting anxiety medications -- you should go to and "like" the Davis Journal Facebook page and subscribe. If you believe -- which I do -- that we are better off if we have a shared sense of local community, then we need to have some shared way of knowing about and caring about the people and events that are right here close by to us.

If you have an idea for a story that you think would be of local interest, and should be covered by the Davis Journal. Please email Tom Haraldson at

The Davis Journal is a new business that may succeed or may not, but for me I very much hope they do succeed and feel like we will be better off if they do.