COLORADO SPRINGS — Colorado is getting closer to receiving its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines.
During Wednesday's press conference, Incident Commander with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Scott Bookman said Colorado is expecting the first shipment of 46,800 doses of Pfizer vaccines between Dec. 13-16. The state anticipates 95,600 doses of the Moderna vaccine the following week.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines both involve two doses. The Pfizer vaccine’s second dose will be delivered 21 days after the first, and the Moderna vaccine’s second dose comes 28 days after the first.
As for the COVID-19 vaccine distribution, we can expect high-risk health care workers and long-term care facility staff and residents to get the vaccine first, followed by moderate-risk health care workers and first responders.
Then in phase 2, which is expected to happen in the springs, the vaccine will be given to higher-risk individuals and essential workers. Finally, the general public is expected to get the vaccine this summer.
“We know that early doses are going to be very limited,” Bookman said. “Over time, they’ll expand. All will be free. Every county will have access to the vaccine.”
Gov. Polis said people who are incarcerated will receive the vaccine on the same timeline as everyone else depending on where they fall in the phase process after several weeks of scrutiny of whether or not they would receive the vaccine as part of the first group or along with the same timeline as the rest of the population. Colorado jails and prisons have, along with long-term care facilities, seen among the largest outbreaks of COVID-19.
“No one will be penalized because they are incarcerated and no one will be given an advantage because they are incarcerated,” Polis said. “…Regardless of where you live, you’ll get the vaccine when your turn is up.”
He also said that for the moment, the vaccines will be for adults 18 and up only, though he said that if the vaccines end up being approved for children aged 12 and up, the state would modify its program.
Colorado performed another chain-of-custody test Tuesday, delivering a box from Denver to Vail that followed the steps people transporting the vaccines will have to follow when they are delivered to the state.
Bookman said Wednesday that the state had created a task force comprised of members of the state emergency operations center, CDPHE, the Colorado National Guard and policymakers to manage the vaccine distribution through all of its steps and make changes and adaptations as necessary.
Brigadier General Scott Sherman, the Director of Joint Staff for the Colorado National Guard, said there are currently eight facilities across the state that will be used as the cold-storage facilities for the vaccines, whose locations are not being released publicly except for to local law enforcement, who will help with security.
Sherman said that a combination of Colorado National Guard soldiers and medical couriers will be tasked with distributing the vaccine from the storage facilities to the health care providers.
During Phase 1, facilities will have to report within 72 hours of reception of the vaccines whether or not they have given the doses out by that point, as they have a shelf life of five days, Bookman said.
On Tuesday, Gov. Polis extended the statewide mask order for an additional 30 days. The mandatory mask-wearing requirement first went into effect in July 2020.