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El Paso County shorted vaccine doses

COVID-19 vaccine candidate begins final test
Posted at 6:41 PM, Feb 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-05 20:53:11-05

EL PASO COUNTY — The number of COVID-19 vaccine doses delivered to El Paso County has been lower in proportion to other counties. State leaders say it was a mistake that will be corrected. "We do realize that there's been a discrepancy in allocation and my understanding is that my staff is working to make-up the discrepancy," said Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Director, Jill Ryan. There will additional doses going to El Paso County over several weeks.

"To their credit they've acknowledged it," said Colorado Springs Mayor, John Suthers. Mayor Suthers along with El Paso County Commissioners are speaking out about part of the explanation from the Governor’s office. The governor's staff released a statement saying El Paso County had thousands of doses sitting on shelves. A day later at a press briefing, Governor Jared Polis said, “It doesn't do any good sitting on shelves, that's one of the ways we've been able to be one of the leading states.

"He's still dead wrong and I don't know why he can't figure this out,” said Suthers. Staff with the City of Colorado Springs tracked an accounted for any unused doses in the county. Several thousand are lined up for a large vaccination event Saturday morning. A couple thousand more went into arms of people with appointments over the last couple of days. There are 5,000 Suthers wants most noted. They were a trade at the request of State Public Health leaders. Because El Paso County has extreme cold capability the request was for a trade between Phizer and Moderna vaccines. "So, we can put Moderna into rural counties that don't have the extreme storage thing."

Polis and Suthers meet once a week. “We have a very frank relationship,” said Suthers, “I don’t hold back and he doesn’t hold back.” The top of vaccine on “shelves” will be addressed.

Suthers says it is important to clear up this issue because people in El Paso County need to know that all doses coming to the county are treated with urgency. "The bottom line is we've got to get more supplies into El Paso County and people's arms." Governor Polis frequently makes similar statements about all Coloradans.