(Photo Credit: Kaya Lindsay) 

You read that right! All Utah residents over the age of 16 are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. You have a choice between the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and it has been a long time in the making. Restrictions on who could receive the vaccine were lifted on March 24th, 2021, and now everyone is eligible! As COVID-19 cases continue to drop, and vaccine numbers rise, it finally feels like there is light at the end of the tunnel. 

If you’re reading this, chances are you are an outdoorsy person with dreams of adventuring into the wilderness to pursue your sport in the beautiful Moab desert. As outdoorsy folks know, most of us do social distancing pretty regularly by disappearing into nature to clear our heads, push ourselves, and gain new perspectives. 

Many of us recreate where we work as well. Many outdoorsy folks have to interact with the public on a daily basis through their jobs. Whether you work as a guide or in retail, getting the COVID-19 vaccine can make your living, playing, and working environment much safer. 

If you are a Utah resident and you are interested in getting the COVID vaccine, please read on! 

How to Make an Appointment

(Photo Credit: Vaccinate.Utah.gov

You can make an appointment at the website vaccinate.utah.gov. It’s super easy, all they need is your home address, name, phone number, and you’re good to go!

My Experience

I think some people are pretty worried about the side effects of the vaccine. As the author of this piece and having recently received the first dose of the vaccine, I wanted to share with y’all a few of the side effects so you know what to be prepared for if and when you get vaccinated!

Day 1 

I barely felt the shot. I actually asked the woman who administered it, “Did you do it already?” She laughed and said yes. They make you wait for about 10-15 minutes in the waiting room just to be sure you don’t have an anaphylactic response to the vaccine, most people don’t, but they want to monitor you just in case. I drove home and got back to work, after about 3 hours I began to feel really sleepy. I received the shot at 9am, and around 2pm I decided to lie down to take a nap. Around 7pm I started to get more energy, but I developed a slight headache. I went to bed around 10pm and slept like a baby. 

Day 2

The next morning I felt fine! My arm still hurt slightly but I wasn’t tired and I didn’t have a headache. Around 3pm I started feeling ‘fluey’ again, and got really tired. However, I’d heard that one of the ways to work out the symptoms was to exercise, so I went climbing and felt much much better. That evening I had a very slight headache before bed. 

Day 3

My symptoms had completely cleared up. My arm was no longer sore and I felt spry and healthy! 

CDC Recommendations 

(Photo Credit: Kaya Lindsay

The CDC recommends that all healthcare workers, and people who are in long term care facilities receive the COVID-19 vaccine. After that, it is recommended that frontline essential workers be vaccinated. This includes fire fighters, police officers, food and agricultural workers, USPS workers, manufacturing workers, grocery store workers, public transit workers, and teachers. 

Currently, in Utah, they have opened up the vaccine beyond these initial recommendations and are letting anyone over the age of 16 get the vaccine.

At Moab Gear Trader, we are not giving healthcare advice. We just want to make sure Utah residents know their options and want to encourage folks who work with the public to consider getting vaccinated. 

Get Back Outside! 

(Photo Credit: Kaya Lindsay

As we know, getting outside is a great way to socially distance. It also brings up our mood and allows us to remember that in nature, our problems don’t seem so large. It has been a tough year for everyone, and for others it has been deadly. With the COVID-19 vaccine opening up to the general public in Utah, we have an opportunity to make our lives and working conditions safer for everyone. And maybe, someday soon, we will be able to return to a version of the lives we lead before the global pandemic.