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Polis: Vaccines for next few weeks impacted by lack of federal vaccine reserve

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Posted at 9:20 AM, Jan 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-15 20:29:40-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — Gov. Jared Polis provided an update on the state's COVID-19 response after learning the federal vaccine reserve does not exist, impacting the state's plan for doses in the next few weeks.

Polis said he was informed Friday about the lack of federal reserve for the second does and there is no influx of doses "contrary" to what they were told. About half of all vaccine doses go to Colorado hospital systems, with 20% going through community health clinics, 20% through local public health agencies and 10% through retail pharmacies, which are helping vaccinate nursing homes.

"Now we know that it simply doesn't exist," he said. He said the state will hold every entity accountable to use the second-dose amount.

Polis outlined the vaccine anticipation for the next few weeks in the state:

  • Jan. 18-24 = 77,950 doses
  • Jan. 25-31 = 77,950 doses
  • Feb. 1-7 = 90,000-100,000 doses
Polis Phase 1A Goals 1/15
Polis provided an update on Phase 1A goals Friday, Jan. 15.

Polis reiterated the importance of vaccinating as many people as possible to be able to return to normal and get people back to normal. He said the state continues to provide relief resources for businesses through the Rural Jump Start Program, Small Business Relief Program, and Paycheck Protection Program.

This follows his press conference on Tuesday where the governor announced Colorado hospital systems are scaling up their COVID-19 vaccine distribution with plans to inoculate tens of thousands of Coloradans per week at hospitals and dozens of clinics as the state pushes to vaccinate most of the 70-and-up population by the end of February.

Polis said Colorado aims to vaccinate 70% of the 70-and-up population by the end of February. Doing so will depend on the federal government releasing more vaccine doses to states, or if another vaccine is approved, Polis said. Colorado is receiving about 70,000 vaccines per week.

The governor said Friday afternoon he is still confident the state can reach the goal of vaccinated 70% of the 70-and-up population. Polis said the state was ready to expand the group if the reserve existed with the anticipation that half the 70-and-up group would have been vaccinated if the state was able to receive the 250,000 vaccines the state was anticipating.

Polis discussed the lost vaccines this week, including in Pueblo, that there isn't a specific protocol in place for providers to follow if there is a power outage or another instance that puts the vaccine at risk and encouraged to "give it to any healthy arm."

He said he is issuing an executive order Friday to have providers not issue copays or fees when people receive the virus.

In response to a question regarding whether this group can become a "superspreader" after they received a vaccine, the governor said there is no data to support that though it could be possible they can carry the virus and be contagious.

RELATED:
Colorado hospitals scale up vaccines for 70-and-up residents; state aims for 70% by end of February
More COVID-19 vaccine options in Southern Colorado than many realize
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