DENVER – With about one-third of eligible Coloradans fully vaccinated and about half of the population having received their first dose, the state is opening up three of the mass vaccination clinics for drive-in and walk-in vaccines that do not require appointments, the governor announced Tuesday.
The mass vaccine sites at the Colorado State Fairgrounds in Pueblo County, The Ranch Events Complex in Larimer County and Ball Arena in Denver will be open for people to walk up or drive up to be vaccinated starting Wednesday. They will also continue to accept appointments online or by calling 720-263-5737.
The fairground site operates Friday through Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The site at The Ranch operates Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. And the Ball Arena site in Denver operates Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Gov. Jared Polis said those three sites, as well as the three other mass vaccination sites in Colorado – in Mesa County at the Grand Junction Convention Center, at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, and at Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs – are also often accepting same-day appointments online and appointments just a few days out.
Polis said some of the other state-run mass vaccination sites that are not yet accepting drive-up or walk-up patients could be soon.
Polis and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment State Epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy said that Colorado was nearing the point in coming weeks where vaccine supply could outnumber demand, hence the move to the appointment-free vaccines.
They are urging everyone who is age 16 and up to get vaccinated as soon as possible, and showed data bearing the reason why on Tuesday as well.
The data presented shows fully-vaccinated Coloradans are at least 94.6% less likely to be infected with COVID-19 than people who are not vaccinated. Just 819 people so far who have been fully vaccinated have seen a “breakthrough” case of catching COVID-19 after being fully inoculated out of about 1.5 million people who have been fully vaccinated.
Polis and Herlihy said the state’s data matched up with studies done on the vaccines across the country and in clinical trial that showed similar rates of efficacy, and said the data has borne out to show that people aged 65 and up, who were the first to get fully vaccinated, are currently seeing the lowest case and hospitalization numbers.
"It's not a surprise," Polis said, "but it's really good to see."