Gov. Polis expects potential vaccination delays to be ‘short-term’ due to incoming winter storm

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DENVER — A massive snowstorm in Colorado isn’t out of the ordinary. But when it means some may not receive their COVID-19 vaccine on time, that’s cause for concern.

“As far as I know, there’s been no vaccination clinics canceled yet. Stay in touch with your clinic. Weather pending for now, keep your plans because if it’s mild to moderate weather, I believe everything will occur according to schedule,” Gov. Jared Polis said during a press conference Tuesday.

Hospitals around the state, like UCHealth and Denver Health, say they haven’t canceled their vaccination plans this weekend.

Deb Suniga with the Latino Coalition of Weld County said they are still planning on having a mass vaccination held inside a clinic this Sunday. Around 500 have registered, and they are still taking sign-ups.

“We can say, ‘rain or snow, we are there,’ but we don’t want to put anyone in danger with the roads, so will keep an eye on it and take a look and make sure everything looks good,” Suniga said.

Suniga said if they do have to cancel, they will reach out — along the same lines as what the governor said on Tuesday.

“If there are parts of the state that are impacted by severe are impassable weather, people will be notified by their provider. Those will be rescheduled in a few days,” Polis said.

With thousands of vaccines ready to go, the governor doesn’t expect to see an issue in supply similar to what happened as a result of winter weather across the south weeks ago.

“The vaccine is in hand. It’s ready to go. We don’t expect to have a delay of more than a few days,” Polis said.

“We receive vaccine deliveries Monday through Wednesday based off the standard ordering cadence. All remaining vaccine shipments for this week will be completed by Wednesday, 3/10, so we do not expect the upcoming weather to affect vaccine availability,” The Colorado Joint Information Center said.

The information center also provided the following statement:

“The Colorado Joint Task Force and Unified Coordination Center continue to coordinate with the National Weather Service with daily updates on the snow forecast for the state. We are working with providers and are urging them to notify individuals of any weather-related delays or postponements and to reschedule appointments so they can occur as quickly as possible. The Equity Outreach Team is working directly with each of the weekend clinics on contingency planning.”