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For Coloradans age 70+, finding vaccination information has been confusing

They say state websites and hotlines haven't been helpful
For Coloradans age 70+, finding vaccination information has been confusing
Posted at 6:50 PM, Jan 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-02 00:18:39-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — Many people over the age of 70 are anxious to get in line for a COVID-19 vaccine, after Governor Jared Polis’ recent announcement they are now included in the first phase of the roll out. But many are hitting a confusing roadblock.

Governor Polis took to CNN early New Year’s Day, in part, to tout the state’s roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Well I’m proud that we’re in the top five states for percentage of vaccines in people’s arms,” Polis said. “We’re moving as fast as we can.”

But where exactly does Colorado stand?

“We’re currently inoculating people 70 and up in many parts of our state,” Polis said.

According to the state’s COVID--19 vaccine website, Colorado is currently in phase 1A and 1B of vaccine distribution, and according to the state’s most recent classification, phase 1B covers Coloradans age 70+. So that might lead you to believe, if you’re 70+, you can go ahead and get your vaccine.

That was this case for one News 5 viewer who emailed us saying he’s over 70, but is having a hard time finding a place to get the vaccine.

“My wife and I are both over 70 and are trying to find out a location in the 80*** zip code area that will be providing the vaccine,” the viewer wrote. “So far no luck on any of the sites on line that should be able to provide that info. There seems to be a delay in the state's ability to define locations that will provide the vaccine for older residents.”

Colorado’s COVID-19 vaccine website lists a hotline available to answer any vaccination questions.

News 5 called the hotline during its normal listed business hours Friday and received a recorded response.

“Thank you for calling the Colorado Health emergency line for public information,” the response said. “We are currently closed.”

While Friday was New Year’s Day, the website does not mention anything about the hotline being down on holidays.

Beyond that, other Colordans have reported, even when the hotline is operating, it hasn’t been of much help.

“78 percent of the fatalities from COVID-19 were 70 and up,” Governor Polis told reporters earlier this week.

With the state and its leaders saying people 70+ are a priority, people like people like that News 5 viewer still wonder, why can’t they get their vaccine yet?

“In some parts of our state, they’re still completing the health care workers that work in COVID wards, nurses and doctors and others,” Polis said on CNN Friday.

As of Friday evening, is was not immediately on the state’s COVID-19 website which parts of the state the governor was referring to.

He also suggested people turn to their local health departments and hospitals for information on the vaccine roll out and their specific area.

“You can ask for availability through your local hospital or community health clinic,” Polis said earlier this week.

As of Friday evening, the banner at the top of El Paso County Public Health's vaccine roll out site read, for more in-depth information please visit the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.”