January 29, 2021
VACCINE PHASE PRIORITIZATION UPDATE
Governor Polis provided an update on Colorado’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and announced the State’s move to begin vaccinating Coloradans ages 65 and older, Coloradans age 16-64 with two or more high-risk conditions, PreK-12 educators, and frontline essential workers in updated Phases 1B.1, 1B.2, and 1B.3. The Governor was joined by Brigadier General Scott Sherman, Director of Joint Staff, Colorado National Guard, and Scott Bookman, COVID-19 Incident Commander at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).
From the onset of the pandemic, the State’s strategy has been to distribute vaccines in a way that is equitable, saves the most lives, and ends the public health crisis as soon as possible. By opening up vaccine eligibility to more Coloradans, we take the next step toward the finish line in the race against this virus.
This is a historic undertaking, and as the State was planning vaccine distribution a few months ago, we knew that we needed to bring in the best people to spearhead complex logistics. The Governor is thankful for General Sherman and his team, Commander Bookman, our entire COVID Response team, and the folks at CDPHE who have gone above and beyond to make sure that Colorado is well-positioned to succeed in beating back this virus.
READY FOR THE NEXT STEP
The State is able to focus on expanding the vaccine prioritization list by meeting our goals for getting vaccines in the arms of Coloradans in Phase 1A and Phase 1B as quickly as possible while accounting for our weekly supply of vaccine doses coming into the state.
The Governor gave Coloradans a look at our progress thus far in Phase 1A and Phase 1B (pre-update):
- Phase 1A: 90% of Colorado’s frontline health care workers have received both doses of the vaccine and 100% of skilled nursing facilities have received their first doses, while 71% have received their second dose.
- Phase 1B: 90% of moderate-risk health care workers have received their first dose of the vaccine and 34% of Coloradans 70 and older (not including residents of long-term care facilities) have received their first dose of the vaccine.
Today, Colorado is one of the top states in the country when it comes to administering the vaccine. We are consistently exhausting our weekly supplies and no dose is going to waste. However, like many states, Colorado faces challenges brought by the limited, weekly supply of vaccine doses. General Sherman provided an estimate today of our weekly supply of vaccines coming from the federal government:
- The State will receive an estimated 452,000 doses between now and March 1.
- We anticipate that we will successfully vaccinate 70% of Coloradans 70 and older by the end of February.
With a clear path toward inoculating our 70 and older population, the Governor and his administration are confident in our ability to take the next step and save more lives.
UPDATED PHASES 1B.1, 1B.2, AND 1B.3
Colorado makes key public health decisions based on the latest data, facts, and science available. Based on our ability to hit our goals for vaccinating Coloradans most at-risk of being exposed and becoming severely ill from COVID-19, the Governor has full confidence in implementing changes to Phase 1B.
Phase 1B will now be known as Phase 1B.1, which is where we are right now and includes:
- Coloradans 70 and older
- Moderate-risk health care workers and first responders
Phase 1B.2 includes:
- Coloradans 65-69 years old
- Child care workers in licensed programs
- PreK-12 educators and school staff. Teachers (full-time, student teachers, and substitutes). Bus drivers, school food service workers, counselors, administrative staff, safety workers, and other support services offered inside the school.
- State Government – Members of the Executive, *Legislative, and Judicial branches of government. Members of the legislative branch have already received access to the vaccine.
Beginning on February 8, everyone in Phase 1B.2 will be eligible to receive the vaccine.
Sign-up for Coloradans ages 65-69:
- Coloradans ages 65-69 will have the ability to sign up the exact same way that Coloradans 70 and older do.
- To find a local provider to join the waitlist and schedule an appointment, visit Covid19.Colorado.gov/For-Coloradans/Vaccine or call 1-877-CO VAX CO (1-877-268-2926) to find contact information for providers across Colorado.
Sign-up for PreK-12 educators and child care workers in licensed programs:
- School districts, schools, and child care providers are working with healthcare partners, including hospitals and local public health agencies to schedule vaccinations. Employers will be in touch with more information about how to schedule your vaccine.
- Employers who have not already partnered with a provider to vaccinate staff should contact their local public health agency or a health care provider.
Phase 1B.3 includes:
- Frontline essential workers – Food and agriculture, manufacturing, U.S. postal service, public transit and specialized transportation staff, grocery, food service, faith leaders, public health, frontline essential human services, faith leaders, direct care providers for Coloradans experiencing homelessness, and essential frontline journalists.
- Coloradans ages 16-64 with two or more high-risk conditions – Coloradans with cancer (defined as patients who are currently receiving treatment or have received treatment within the last month for cancer), chronic kidney disease, COPD, diabetes mellitus, Down syndrome, specific heart conditions, obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease, solid organ transplant, people with disabilities that prevent them from wearing masks.
It is estimated that by early March (March 5), everyone in Phase 1B.3 will be eligible to receive the vaccine.
Sign-up for frontline essential workers and Coloradans ages 16-64 with two or more high-risk conditions:
- Like educators, signing up to receive the vaccine for frontline workers will be an employer-based effort.
- The State continues working with stakeholders to create a process for how to best vaccinate this group, and we will have more information on how to sign up soon.
This process has not been perfect. But it’s not about perfection — it’s about saving lives.
Here in Colorado, we are doing everything in our power to win the race against this virus and now that we find ourselves ready to take the next step, we ask for your patience as it will take time to vaccinate all eligible Coloradans in our current phases.
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