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General public in Colorado likely won’t have access to coronavirus vaccine until summer 2021

A distribution plan unveiled Wednesday by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment prioritizes health care workers, and nursing home residents and staff for the first doses

Jesse Paul and John Ingold, The Colorado Sun
VAIL, COLORADO - NOVEMBER 8: Vail Health Hospital employee health nurse Diane Schmidt, left, gives a mock Covid-19 vaccine to Caitlyn Ngam, right, an infection preventionist at the hospital on December 8, 2020 in Vail, Colorado. With the state expecting its first shipment of a COVID-19 vaccine in a matter of days, the state health department ran an exercise to see how ready it is to take on such a mass vaccination campaign. The Pfizer vaccine, which is the first shot expected to gain federal approval, will be difficult for the state to distribute as it needs to be stored at sub-zero temperatures and requires two shots. The Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management held a dry run or drill of receiving the vaccines in a thermal shipping container at Denver International Airport, using a courier car to take the vaccines to Vail Health Hospital and then the path the vaccines will follow once at the hospital from the pharmacy to a patient receiving the vaccine. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post)

The general public in Colorado likely won’t have access to a coronavirus vaccine until the summer of 2021, state officials said Wednesday, though inoculations for health care workers and nursing home residents could start within a week.

A distribution plan unveiled Wednesday by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment prioritizes health care workers, namely those who interact with COVID-19 patients, and nursing home residents and staff for the first doses of vaccine in what’s being referred to as “Phase 1A.”

Since coronavirus reached Colorado early this year, nearly 1,400 residents of nursing homes and senior care centers have died from COVID-19. More than 5,700 nursing home staff have caught the disease and as many as 10 have been killed by it.



In “Phase 1B,” which is expected to continue through the winter, first responders — like firefighters and police officers — and people who work in home health, hospice care and dental settings will be prioritized to receive vaccines.

A vaccine developed by Pfizer, which requires two doses, could be approved for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration in the next five days. Another vaccine being manufactured by Moderna, which also requires two doses, could be available as soon as a week after the Pfizer vaccine gets the OK from federal regulators.



Read more at ColoradoSun.com.


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