Essential workers set to be eligible for vaccination starting March 19 |

Essential workers set to be eligible for vaccination starting March 19

Next phase includes half the population of Colorado; Gov. Polis says all Coloradans will be eligible by mid-April

Vials of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are pictured at a drive-thru clinic Dec. 27 at the bus depot in Frisco.
Photo by Liz Copan / Studio Copan

Summit County’s essential workers will be eligible to be vaccinated as soon as Friday, March 19, two days earlier than previously planned, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announced at a news conference Friday, March 12.

In addition to front-line essential workers in various industries — such as food and restaurant services, manufacturing, public transit, the U.S. Postal Service and more — people ages 50 and older, faith leaders, student-facing education employees, people ages 16-49 with one high-risk condition and adults who received a placebo during a COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial will be eligible.

The group includes roughly half of Colorado’s population.

“Certainly, the news today that we’re moving into (the next phase) a couple days earlier than anticipated is good,” Summit County Commissioner Tamara Pogue said Friday. “It’s a particularly important group for Summit County’s economy.”

Summit County government couldn’t quantify how much of the local population will be eligible in the upcoming phase other than to say it will be the largest percentage yet. It is also unclear how many doses will be delivered, but Pogue hopes it’ll be a larger supply relative to the increase in demand. There were 1,200 Pfizer vaccines delivered this week.

“We’re continuing to advocate to the state for more vaccines,” Pogue said. “Our staff has done a fantastic job of proving that, when we’re given vaccines, we can get them out quickly and efficiently.”

Currently, about 11,000 vaccine doses have been delivered in the county. About 27% of the county’s population has received at least one dose, 10% are partially vaccinated and 17% are fully vaccinated, according to the county’s website.

The county urges people in the upcoming phase to preregister at, which will enter them into a lottery to receive an appointment. Individuals who are randomly selected in the lottery will receive an email notification with a link to schedule an appointment.

When registering, Pogue said restaurant workers should select “other” from the drop-down menu for their line of work rather than “Food & Agriculture.” They’ll then receive a follow-up email from the county with a survey to complete the sign-up process.

“I think there has been some confusion from the restaurant folks,” Pogue said about how to register on the site. “… We would love to change it, but unfortunately it’s a national platform. We’re a little stuck.”

The increase in eligibility coincides with an increase of visitation to Summit County during spring break. Pogue asked that community members follow current health guidelines, such as wearing face masks and keeping their distance from others, until they are fully immunized with both doses.

“It would be really bad for us to see a spike in the wrong direction right now — economically and I think from a behavioral health perspective and just the well-being of our community,” Pogue said.

How to get vaccinated

• Get on a list to be vaccinated through the public health department in Summit County, or any other county:

• Centura Health:

• List of vaccination providers across Colorado:

People ages 60 and older, health care workers, first responders, educators and grocery workers are eligible for the vaccine. Educators and child care workers should ask their employer about scheduling an appointment.

People with questions about the local response to COVID-19 can call the county’s hotline at 970-668-9730 or email

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