Hope is on the horizon: Vaccine rollout plan announced by Governor Polis

Published: Dec. 10, 2020 at 10:28 AM MST
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - This dark year of 2020 could brighten a little starting on Dec. 13 here in our state.

That’s the date when the first COVID-19 vaccine is expected to arrive in Colorado according to Governor Polis. He spent his press conference Wednesday afternoon going over the rollout of the distribution plan.

Although there will be a minimal amount to start out, you can expect the vaccine to be available on a widespread basis soon enough.

“This vaccine is really the gateway to the end of the pandemic to return to normalcy, stated Polis in his press conference. “So let’s double down in the next few weeks and months.”

Double down meaning don’t put away those face masks and make any plans that involve a lot of social activity. Clearly, the end of the pandemic is closer to us now than the beginning.

Colorado is expected to get its first shipment of the 46,800 Pfizer vaccinations from Dec. 13 to Dec. 16. Moderna will ship more than a week later.

“These vaccines are more effective than the flu vaccine and have an efficacy that is compared to the measles component of the MMR,” explained Scott Bookman, who is Colorado’s Department of Public Health & Environment incident commander for COVID-19.

The Colorado vaccine task force is planning the execution and will monitor the progress of the distribution. Local government will also play a role in the rollout in providing information updates, local site and plan development, and provide Q&A sessions for the public.

The three-phase distribution plan begins with high-risk health care workers and individuals getting the vaccine. These are people who have direct contact with COVID patients over a prolonged amount of time and long term facility workers and staff.

Phase 1-B will offer the vaccine to moderate risk health workers. These are people with less direct contact with patients or hospice care workers and first responders.

The second phase will address higher-risk individuals and essential workers like people age 65 and older, people with other health issues like diabetes or heart disease, and also people who interact with people directly at work such as school staff or retail workers. Then, phase three will address the rest of the public between the ages of 18-64.

“All of this prioritization is subject to change based on updated recommendations by the federal government, from our partners at the CDC and FDA, and from the scientific literature,” said Polis. “We’re going to need to be flexible as we learn more and find the best way to allocate it across the state.”

A long road lies ahead with bumps in the road to be expected, but this could finally be the beginning of the end of one of the darkest chapters in our lifetime.

“Now we’re looking for the next important exciting hopeful phase. The triumph of modern science” offered Polis.

At this point, the vaccine is only available to those 18 and older

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