COLORADO SPRINGS — In this Your Healthy Family we're highlighting vaccine efforts of all kinds and sizes that are happening across southern Colorado.
Half of the mass vaccination drive-through clinic at The Broadmoor World Arena parking lot had to be postponed last Sunday and rescheduled for this Saturday due to the crazy cold weather. Everyone who had an appointment through Centura Health should have received an email with their appointment time for this Saturday, February 20th. This is a by-appointment- only event.
When Gov. Jared Polis was in Colorado Springs last week touring vaccine sites in El Paso County, he talked about the importance of vaccine efforts of all sizes. “There are pharmacies that do 20 to 40 a day like Kroger or CVS and Walgreens. I was over at UCHealth, and they do a few thousand a day and then there are these temporary pop-up sites.”
Dr. David Steinbruner, MD, is the chief medical officer for UCHealth Memorial and showed the Governor around the Memorial Administration Center's (MAC) vaccine clinic on East Pikes Peak Avenue that is open Monday-Tuesday and Thursday-Saturday every week.
Dr. Steinbruner says, “Essentially we're running a mass vaccination event every week. This is really a marathon, not a sprint effort. It's important that people realize we are in this for the long haul, and we need to do this for months and months - under any kind of weather and conditions - in a way that is sustainable. Both from getting employees to help out with the process and being able to get people in on a regular basis.”
Last week UCHealth reported vaccinating nearly 10,200 people in the south region of Colorado the week of February 8th through the 15th, and most of those happened at the MAC.
Dr. Steinbruner says they are looking to build on those numbers. “We can do about 2,000 a day at that facility (The MAC) and we're looking at how we can expand that. We're looking at 10,000 a week on average and it really just depends on vaccine supply. We want to set it up in a way that when people come in and leave they say, ‘Wait - that was a mass vaccination event?’ Yes, that's correct but it didn't feel like it.”
Dr. Steinbruner also points out that It's important to remember that as smoothly as things have gone so far, as this marathon effort continues he hopes people will keep the bigger picture in mind as many agencies continue working together to do their part. “The only other thing I would say, Ira, is that I hope people will give us a little grace and a little patience on this - as a community. We have basically a vaccine consortium of us, Centura, Optum, Matthews-Vu, King Soopers, Safeway and all the CVS pharmacies. We are all trying to lean in together with the public health department and it's not gonna be perfect; there are going to be challenges, we're going to miss people but then we can go back and try to get those people as well. So hopefully people recognize we're trying to do this, but it's something nobody's ever really done before. I don't know about you, Ira, but I have never faced a worldwide pandemic and we have to get a rapid vaccine out that's coming out under emergency use authorization a year early.”
To register with UCHealth to get on a list to receive a vaccination, visit www.uchealth.org/covidvaccine [uchealth.org]. Or, if you don’t have access to a computer, you can call their hotline at 720-462-2255. (Español 844.945.2508)
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