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Coronavirus vaccination rates went up in Utah after an Aug. 12 statement in which leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints urged members to get their shots.

But the numbers didn’t rise much more sharply than they already had been increasing before the statement.

Seven-day totals for vaccinations had been making gains of about 4,000 shots administered each week, on average, since Utah’s vaccination rate bottomed out at about 30,000 new doses for the first week in July.

The week after the governing First Presidency of the church issued a statement calling on members to get vaccinated and wear masks to church activities, seven-day vaccination totals rose by more than 5,200. The total went from 50,298 for the week ending Aug. 12 to 55,554 for the week ending Aug. 19.

It wasn’t the sharpest one-week increase this summer; the week ending Aug. 5 saw a rise of more than 8,200 doses over the week before. This came after Utah’s daily case count exceeded 1,000 per day for the first time since mid-February — though there is no way of knowing whether that was what motivated so many Utahns to get vaccinated.

But the statement may have boosted vaccination rates during what otherwise might have been a lull. The day after the statement, Utah recorded 11,209 vaccine doses administered, the highest single-day total reported since June 11, according to data from the Utah Department of Health.

This article is published through the Utah News Collaborative, a partnership of news organizations in Utah that aim to inform readers across the state. To read the full article, click here.

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