Are you 70 or older in Northern Colorado? Here’s information about COVID-19 vaccines

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More than a week after Colorado Gov. Jared Polis expanded the next pool of eligible COVID-19 vaccine recipients to include Coloradans 70 years old and older, that age group is officially starting to get their first doses of the vaccine through Banner Health, UCHealth and Salud Family Health Centers in Fort Collins.

This is the first large local push into Phase 1B of the state’s vaccine distribution plan, which places Coloradans in the 70-plus age group at the front of the line. Polis said Wednesday he hopes to have this group get its first doses by Feb. 28.

But while this marks the next step for Northern Colorado, the process hasn’t been without its fair share of confusion, frustration and technical glitches. 

If you’re 70 years old or older, here’s what we know so far about signing up for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Banner Health

Though it continues to vaccinate frontline health care workers as part of the state’s Phase 1A of vaccine distribution, Banner Health’s facility at 4700 Lady Moon Drive in Fort Collins is now also offering vaccines to Coloradans in the 70-plus age group as dose allocations allow, according to Banner Health spokesperson Sara Quale.

The health care system plans to share more information on how these Coloradans can schedule a vaccine appointment in the next few days, Quale said Thursday. In the meantime, individuals 70 years old and older are asked to take an online Banner Health survey, which will determine if they are currently eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Learn more at www.bannerhealth.com/staying-well/health-and-wellness/wellness/covid/larimer-county-vaccine.

Salud Family Health Centers

Salud began vaccinating Coloradans age 70 and older in Fort Collins on Thursday.

The health care center, which has two clinics in Fort Collins, will not accept walk-ins for the vaccine and is not scheduling vaccine appointments over the phone at this time, according to its website.

Due to a software issue, a planned online scheduling system for vaccine appointments has been stalled but is set to launch soon on the Salud website. The health care center asks that you not call about vaccine availability because its call center is dedicated to scheduling patients for regular health visits. 

You do not need to be a Salud patient to get a vaccine, and vaccines will be provided for free, though if a patient has insurance, that insurance may be billed for an administrative fee. No co-pay will be collected when you get your vaccine at Salud, according to the health center’s website.

UCHealth

After more than three weeks of vaccinating frontline health care workers, nursing home staff and residents, UCHealth has officially begun offering vaccines to Coloradans 70 years old and older.

If you are in this age group and would like to be placed on UCHealth’s vaccine list, you can do so by creating an account on its online patient portal, My Health Connection. Once you have a My Health Connection account, be sure to check your account daily for messages sent from the health system. Those eligible for the vaccine will be sent messages through the patient portal with instructions on how to set up a vaccine appointment.

Appointments can only be made in the 48-hour period after a message is sent, so be sure to keep an eye out for any communications from UCHealth. If you have issues creating or accessing your My Health Connection account, customer service is available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays by calling 855-395-9031 or visiting uchealth.org/contact-us.

Learn more at uchealth.org/covidvaccine

More information on COVID-19 vaccines in Larimer County

For more information in Larimer County, visit www.larimer.org/coronavirus-covid-19/covid-19-vaccine.

Many hospitals are calling and emailing those 70 and older who are in their systems to help them schedule vaccine appointments, Polis said. 

To reach other 70-and-older residents who may not have a health care provider or insurance, Polis said vaccine clinics will be set up statewide to make the vaccine more accessible. 

Coloradoan reporter Sady Swanson contributed to this report. 

Erin Udell reports on news, culture, history and more for the Coloradoan. Contact her at ErinUdell@coloradoan.com. The only way she can keep doing what she does is with your support. If you subscribe, thank you. If not, sign up for a digital subscription to the Coloradoan today.