County plans for COVID vaccines
While Colorado received the first COVID-19 vaccines on Monday, Grand County won’t get vaccines until later this month.
The state got over 900 doses of the Pfizer vaccine Monday morning, according to the Colorado Sun. However, Grand County doesn’t have the capability of storing the Pfizer vaccines, which require Ultra-Cold Vaccine Storage units and pelletized dry ice that recharges the ultra-cold storage.
Grand County Public Health instead expects to use the Moderna vaccine, once it receives approval from the Food and Drug Administration. CNBC reports the FDA could approve the Moderna vaccine as early as Friday.
County communications manager Alexis Kimbrough said, based on the timeline of the Pfizer vaccine, the county should get the Moderna vaccines about a week after they’re approved by the FDA.
Grand County expects to receive 900 doses of the Moderna vaccine, which is given in two doses, covering 450 people.
Per the phases of vaccine roll out approved by the Center for Disease Control and adopted by Colorado, healthcare workers, assisted living facility staff and residents, and long term care staff and residents will receive the first vaccines.
In Phase Two, older and immunocompromised people will be vaccinated, as well as essential workers and adults involved in vaccine trials. Phase Three, the general public, includes younger and healthier people.
In a statement from Middle Park Health, the hospital said it plans to follow the phases in inoculating staff, as well as the public.
“Middle Park Health is formulating a plan following state guidelines for the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine to our employees,” the statement said. “Public vaccines are not expected until summer of 2021. We will roll out a phased plan for distribution of these vaccines as well.”
Kimbrough said the county continues to work on setting up clinics for when the vaccine is available more widely in phases two and three.
“I think it will look similar to the testing operations we have in place once we’re in a less targeted tier,” she explained.
Kimbrough added that while vaccines will be helpful in slowing the spread of COVID and ending the pandemic, other public health guidelines remain important.
“Just because the vaccine is here doesn’t mean we can stop wearing masks, distancing and being diligent,” she said.
As vaccine distribution remains in the early stages, Kimbrough said more information will be shared by public health as it becomes available. She encouraged people with questions about the vaccine to reach out to the county.
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