COLORADO SPRINGS — Gov. Jared Polis provided an update on the state's response to COVID-19 Friday afternoon, urging people to not let the cold weather this weekend stop them from keeping vaccine appointments.
Despite the extreme cold this weekend, the governor is urging those with vaccine appointments to show up and keep appointments. He mentioned people would be able to stay in their cars for most locations and that it would be a different story if there were blizzard conditions anticipated.
"It's very important that we don't let Mother Nature slow our progress against the pandemic," he said. "We in Colorado are not afraid of a little bit of cold."
He said the state has not received any numbers regarding the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which could be approved as soon as the first weekend in March. There is no estimate on the quantity, but Polis said it would be a "powerful third weapon to our arsenal against the virus." This vaccine would be a one-dose vaccination versus the two doses required by the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
Up to this point, a little over 302,000 Coloradans 70 and up have been vaccinated with at least one dose, bringing the state’s goal to vaccinate 70% of those 70 and up by the end of this month to 77%. Polis says he doesn’t want to stop here and hopes that the age group can get to 80% through 90% vaccination rate.
This follows his press conference Tuesday where the governor announced the state is anticipating an additional 9,000 vaccine doses starting next week from the federal government. Polis mentioned this additional shipment will be for at least three weeks.
He also mentioned concerns about oversight for pharmacies and clinics that will be given these doses. Polis mentioned there have been instances in Colorado and across the country where some providers are not giving out the vaccines right away, and he has had to cut off their supply and divert it to a provider that will distribute the doses quickly.
This week also saw the first day of eligibility for those 65 and older to receive the vaccine. The governor estimates that those in the age group of 65-69 will be fully vaccinated sometime in early March.