Every Coloradan will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine by mid-April, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announced Friday.
Polis’s announcement comes the day after President Joe Biden directed all states to open up vaccine eligibility to all adults by May 1.
“We are in for a more or less normal summer,” Polis said.
Before opening it up to the general public, Colorado will expand vaccine eligibility to those in Phase 1B.4 — which includes everyone age 50 and older and other frontline essential workers — beginning March 19, Polis said.
Here’s who is included in Phase 1B.4:
- Anyone age 50 and older
- Student-facing higher education faculty and staff
- Food and restaurant employees
- Manufacturing workers
- U.S. Postal Service employees
- Public and specialized transportation employees
- Public health employees
- Human services employees
- People providing direct services to Coloradans experiencing homelessness
- Frontline journalists
- Select local and state government employees
- Adults who received a placebo in a COVID-19 vaccine trial
- Anyone age 16 and up with one high-risk health condition, including:
- Cancer (currently undergoing treatment or received treatment in the last month)
- Chronic kidney disease
- Down syndrome
- Specific heart conditions (heart failure, cardiomyopathies, coronary heart disease and severe valvular/congenital heart disease)
- Sickle cell disease
- Solid organ transplant
- People with disabilities that prevent them from wearing masks
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There are an estimated 2.5 million Coloradans in Phase 1B.4, said Scott Bookman, COVID-19 incident commander for the state health department. As the state expands eligibility, Bookman said providers will still have discretion to prioritize people in previous phases who haven’t received a vaccine.
People who qualify for a vaccine through their job position should work with their employers to schedule a vaccine, Bookman said. Employers can fill out a form to get connected with a provider at covid19.colorado.gov/clinic-form.
Those age 50 and older can go directly to a provider to get a vaccine. More information can be found online at cocovidvaccine.org or www.larimer.org/health/communicable-disease/coronavirus-covid-19/covid-19-vaccine for Larimer County-specific vaccine information.
If someone is having trouble making an appointment, Larimer County officials can be reached 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday by calling 970-498-5500 or texting 970-999-1770.
People can also call the state vaccine hotline anytime at 877-268-2926.
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Polis said transparency about an anticipated increase in the vaccine supply from the federal government in the coming weeks has allowed the state to plan for opening up eligibility to all adult Coloradans next month.
Colorado officials anticipate about 250,000 doses of the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines coming from the federal government next week. That supply is expected to increase to about 388,000 doses by the first week in April.
By mid-April, Colorado is expecting to receive about half a million doses per week from the federal government, Brigadier Gen. Scott Sherman said.
The state is coordinating with counties to stand up six mass vaccination sites across Colorado to help distribute the increased vaccine supply, Polis said, including one site at The Ranch in Loveland.
“Frankly, it’s the best problem to have,” Polis said on having to stand-up mass vaccine sites.
A state-run mass vaccination clinic is scheduled for The Ranch for March 22. The Larimer County health department has previously held large vaccine clinics at The Ranch.
Sady Swanson covers public safety, criminal justice, Larimer County government and more throughout Northern Colorado. You can send your story ideas to her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @sadyswan. Support her work and that of other Coloradoan journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today.