Vaccine cowboys: Coloradans willing to travel hundreds of miles to get COVID-19 vaccine

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EATON, Colo. — When Javier Guijosa saw the state of Colorado’s COVID-19 vaccine bus pull into the parking lot of the rec center where he works, he thought the driver was lost.

“When the bus was pulling in, I thought he was just going to use our parking lot as a turnaround to get back on the road,” Guijosa said.

Little did Guijosa kno, the bus was at the Eaton Rec Center to stay.

“We were cutting grass, and I kind of indicated toward my boss a little pat on the arm,” Guijosa said. “Indicating that I was wanting the vaccine. And he followed me a couple minutes later and said, ‘Hey, we have a few extras if you guys want to sign up.’”

RELATED: Ready for the vaccine? Here’s how you can sign up in Colorado, with general public eligible Friday

While some Coloradans aren’t interested in getting the COVID-19 vaccine, many others are willing to go the distance.

“I’m a graduate student at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey,” Anthony Azari said.

Azari, who is staying with family in Greeley while his classes remain fully remote, got a text about the bus in Eaton.

“I probably would have driven 30 minutes max, maybe an hour,” Azari said. “I just feel like if the opportunity is available, take advantage of it.”

These so-called vaccine cowboys are those willing to hit the road to get the vaccine, sometimes driving hours out of their way.

“You can get it wherever you want,” Gov. Jared Polis said.

If you can’t get the vaccine in your community, the governor said Friday to get it where you can.

“You fill out your address as a formality, but it doesn’t matter where you live,” Polis said. “You’re eligible if you’re 18 and up in Colorado, 16 and up for the Pfizer vaccine.”

It’s worth noting the lines in Eaton on Friday were not long, so it’s not as if those like Azari are depriving locals from getting it first.

“And, you know, if you are visiting another community, enjoy that community,” Polis said. “Maybe spend some money in a local store. Try out a local restaurant. I’m sure they’ll appreciate it.”

Guijosa said he did it more for his own family than himself.

“A lot of my family in Mexico has been affected by the actual virus,” Guijosa said. “I’m also just trying to prevent everything that’s happening down over there to our family because they don’t really have the luxury of getting a vaccine.”