Summit County to start vaccinating essential workers Friday
Grocery store workers, people ages 60-64 and people with two or more high-risk conditions will have their first opportunity to receive the COVID-19 vaccine Friday, March 5.
On Friday, Feb. 26, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announced that the state will start vaccinating people who fall into the next phase this upcoming Friday. Providers across Summit County received more than 1,700 doses to give out to that population and all other eligible people this week.
The majority of those doses went to the county’s public health department, which will give out 1,236 first doses at a drive-thru clinic Friday, Summit County Public Health Director Amy Wineland said at a Board of Health meeting Tuesday, March 2.
In addition to public health, the Summit Community Care Clinic received 175 doses of the vaccine to distribute to educators who have not received their first dose as well as the clinic’s patient population that is currently eligible.
Pharmacies at City Market stores in Breckenridge and Dillon as well as at Walmart in Frisco each received 100 doses for the week through a federal allocation program, Wineland said. Those doses are expected to be a regular weekly allocation going forward, she said.
At public health’s Friday drive-thru clinic, officials will be administering 1,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration on Saturday, Feb. 27.
People will not have the option to choose which vaccine they receive at the clinics, Wineland said.
“All three vaccines are extremely effective and efficient,” she said. “If (people) come through the (clinic), they’re going to be offered an appointment for a vaccine … and it will be one of the three different vaccines, but we’re not going to be able to offer choices right now.”
Grocery store workers and people ages 60 and older can sign up at CoMassVax.org to be entered into a lottery to receive an appointment. People with two or more high-risk conditions should reach out to their provider to receive a vaccine, Wineland said.
Most of the appointments are filled for Friday’s event. About 2,340 eligible people had signed up through the preregistration link as of Tuesday, Wineland said. Only 1,236 of those people will get an appointment this week.
With more people eligible comes a greater need for patience, officials said.
“We’re just asking for patience and to trust the process,” Commissioner Josh Blanchard said. “We will get the vaccines, and we will get them into arms.”
At Tuesday’s meeting, Hayden Hedman, the county’s COVID-19 data analyst, presented a new dashboard on the county’s website, SummitCountyCo.gov/coronavirus, that will reflect data about the county’s vaccine distribution.
Because Summit County residents are able to be vaccinated anywhere in the state, county officials were relying on state officials to provide the data, which took weeks to organize.
The new data shows the percentage of total residents vaccinated. According to Hedman’s presentation, the county has administered 8,429 doses to residents, with around 12.2% of residents being fully vaccinated.
The data only reflects information about the county’s residents who are 16 or older based on population numbers from the 2018 census. Until 2020 census numbers are released, it’s hard to know how much of the actual population has been vaccinated, but Hedman said he thinks the reported percentage is lower than reality.
“Even if we had the most accurate data of 2020, we would also still be missing a lot of our seasonal workforce, and also the population growth has increased since 2018,” he said. “So it’s very likely that this is an under-estimate, but this is the best metric that we have to show at this point.”
The following links have information about how to get vaccinated:
• Get on a list to be vaccinated through the public health department in Summit County, or any other county: CoMassVax.org
• A full list of providers in Summit County: SummitCountyCo.gov/vaccine (Individuals who need assistance scheduling an appointment can call 970-668-9730.)
• Centura Health: Centura.org/covid-19/covid-19-vaccine-information
• List of vaccination providers across Colorado: CoCOVIDVaccine.org
In addition to health care workers, first responders and educators, people ages 60 and older, grocery store workers and people with two or more high-risk conditions are eligible for the vaccine starting Friday, March 5. Educators and child care workers should ask their employer about scheduling an appointment, and those with high-risk conditions should look to their providers for appointments.
People with questions about the local response to COVID-19 can call the county’s hotline at 970-668-9730 or email email@example.com.
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