Vaccine phase 1B.3 begins Friday, exactly one year after Colorado’s first confirmed COVID case

Syringes await vaccines at a vaccination event.
Syringes await vaccines at a vaccination event.(WDBJ7 Photo)
Published: Mar. 1, 2021 at 5:39 PM MST
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Starting on Friday –– one year to the day after Colorado’s first COVID-19 case –– the latest vaccine phase will begin. Phase 1B.3 includes people over the age of 60, and those with two or more high risk conditions.

Mesa County Public Health says they are proud of community efforts to limit the spread, ever since the pandemic began last March. The health department also reflected on the importance of the county’s five-star variance program, which helped keep businesses alive not only in Mesa, but across the state as other counties adapted the program.

Last month, the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce released a study which found that the five star program was worth $13 million to local businesses in Mesa County.

“We’re always looking for ways that we can quantify the work that we do,” says Jeff Kuhr, Executive Director of Mesa County Public Health. “What great results that this program…[helped] keep businesses open, and had such a big impact on the community.”

Governor Polis on Friday encouraged everyone to take the vaccine when eligible, saying, “Get it into arms, end the pandemic, save lives.”

Anyone eligible for the next phase can already fill out the vaccine interest form on Mesa County Public Health’s website, starting today. The health department says they have the capacity to administer nearly 2000 doses per day, depending on vaccine availability.

When vaccine registration first opened up, it took the health department around a month to schedule appointments. As of today, those wait times are less than a week.

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