COLORADO SPRINGS — On Friday, Gov. Jared Polis announced that COVID-19 vaccines will be available for the general public starting in mid-April.
The governor said they will announce the date within the next two weeks after the state reviews their vaccine supply.
Gov. Polis also said he estimates everyone who wants a vaccine will be able to get one by mid-May or June.
"We are in for a more or less normal summer," said Gov. Polis, "it will be a lot more normal than last summer."
Despite opening up eligibility, state officials said they are encouraging providers to prioritize Coloradans who are in the most vulnerable groups.
At his press conference on Friday he also announced people in Phase 1B.4 would be eligible for a vaccine starting March 19, moving the date up by two days. It also means half of Coloradans will be eligible for the vaccine once Phase 1B.4 goes into effect.
Those who will be eligible for a vaccine in Phase 1B.4 are people aged 50 and older, frontline essential workers and people 16 and older with one high-risk condition.
COVID Incident Commander Scott Bookman said sign up for essential workers will be employer-based.
Bookman said the vaccine task force will help employers connect with a provider to vaccinate employees.
"Employees who are in this category first work with their employer rather than going directly to a provider," said Bookman.
Essential workers in Phase 1B.4:
- Student-facing higher education employees
- Frontline essential workers in food/restaurant services
- Frontline essential workers in manufacturing
- Frontline essential workers for the U.S. postal service
- Frontline essential workers in public transit and specialized transportation
- Frontline essential workers in public health
- Frontline essential human service workers
- Faith leaders
- Frontline essential direct care
- providers for Coloradans experiencing homelessness
- Frontline essential journalists
- Continuity of local government
- Continuation of operations for state government
The dates for six state-run community vaccination sites were also announced at the governor's press conference.
The community vaccination site at the Broadmoor World Arena will open March 17, the site at the Pueblo state fairgrounds will open March 22. The Pueblo Health Department said they expect to eventually be able to vaccinate 6,000 people per day at the site.
The state will be providing more information on how to register for community vaccination sites on March 17.
The impending storm has led to the cancellations of some COVID-19 vaccine clinics this weekend.
Polis asked anyone with an appointment to call ahead to see if their clinic is canceled.
The governor announced he has activated the Colorado National Guard for the winter storm.