Thousands of Coloradans vaccinated against COVID-19 at National Western Complex Saturday

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DENVER — Five thousand Coloradans received their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine at the National Western Complex on Saturday.

The event, which was put on by SCL Health, was meant for those 70 years old and older and those living in underserved communities.

SCL Health partnered with a multitude of local organizations to provide roundtrip rides to those who had an appointment but no way of getting there.

David Gardnar and Alice Ward were two people who were able to get vaccinated through this opportunity.

“They got a little bus that came and picked us up,” said Gardnar.

Gardnar took a shuttle to the National Western Complex, while Ward opted for a ride share.

It was because of this opportunity Ward said she was able to make it to her appointment.

“I wouldn’t have known how to get here,” she said.

Gardnar and Ward weren’t the only two who got the clinic by bus, shuttle or rideshare. More than 400 others who signed up to be vaccinated on Saturday did the same.

The event not only provided different ride options for those getting vaccinated, but it offered a different structure.

It was the first indoor mass vaccination event in Denver. Megan Mahncke, the Vice President of external relations for SCL Health said that after talking with community members they found this structure would be most helpful for this specific community.

“We decided to hold this indoors really because when we talk about this community, they need to see someone in person. They really need to be walked through the process and it was critical when we saw some of the feedback that they feel more comfortable getting to come in, have their questions answered, be vaccinated and while it’s social distanced, people to people relationships,” she said.

The event kicked off at 8 a.m. and was scheduled to run until 6 p.m.

Those who received their first vaccination on Saturday are scheduled to return to the National Western Complex to receive their second dose on March 6.