The supply of COVID-19 vaccine is currently limited, with the state of Colorado receiving about 70,000 doses of vaccine each week for a population of 5.8 million residents.
Distribution issues resulting in limited quantities in Southwest Colorado are being experienced by local public health agencies both nationwide and statewide, said San Juan Basin Public Health in a news release.
The state’s original COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan was revised by Gov. Jared Polis to move people who are 70 years or older into a higher-priority category to enable them to receive vaccinations sooner than originally planned. SJBPH is working to expand the local vaccine distribution system in anticipation of receiving more vaccines.
Both Archuleta and La Plata counties are currently vaccinating people in Phase 1A, which includes high-priority health care workers and staff members and residents of long-term care facilities – as well as some people in Phase 1B, including first responders, moderate-risk health care workers and people older than 70. Hospital systems have been designated by the state to lead the vaccination effort of people older than 70.
According to the state of Colorado, of the more than 10,000 people older than 65 in La Plata County, less than 10% has received their first vaccination dose. In Archuleta County, about 30% of the same population has been vaccinated – 1,150 out of 3,829 people. (These figures are the 65-and-older population, as reported by the state, though the current phase of vaccine eligibility begins at 70.)
SJBPH encourages anyone interested in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine to share their contact information to receive a weekly email notification with an update about vaccine availability. The notification sign-up is not to make vaccine appointments, but to provide information as to where the vaccine may be available for eligible people. The notification forms are available in both English and Spanish.
Limited vaccine quantities mean there are limited numbers of vaccination appointments for those who are eligible. SJBPH asks people not to sign up for an appointment if they are not in an eligible category. This will only slow the vaccination distribution process.
SJBPH continues to urge everyone to follow these public health precautions:
Wearing face masks.Social distancing of at least 6 feet.Avoiding nonessential indoor spaces and gatherings with others not in your household.Getting tested if you are symptomatic, think you’ve been exposed or if you work in a high-contact position.Avoiding travel.Washing hands well.Getting the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available.For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine and to share contact information to receive vaccine notifications, visit sjbpublichealth.org/covid-19-vaccine.